Tag Archive | "The Mobtown Sports Beat"

Your Monday Reality Check-What a difference a week makes?

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Your Monday Reality Check-What a difference a week makes?

Posted on 11 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

Perhaps you’re not familiar with WNST.net MLB analyst Allen McCallum. Allen was once the Ballpark Reporter at WNST, covering the Baltimore Orioles on a daily basis. He’s remained with us in the years since then, appearing once a week in studio (currently with Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”) to talk Major League Baseball and Baltimore Orioles.

Allen is a really good dude, but is decidedly un-American in my book. You see, Allen doesn’t like football. I don’t understand it either, trust me. I have every reason to believe he celebrates the 4th of July and enjoys a good slice of Apple Pie, but he loves baseball and just doesn’t care about our national pastime.

Despite this obvious flaw, I’ve maintained a level of friendship and (as much as is possible for someone who I have to imagine may be a communist) respect for Allen. I don’t dislike him, I just don’t understand how someone like him can exist in this country. You see, football is our beautiful game. It’s a game fathers play in the backyard with sons. Baseball is okay when there aren’t real sports to watch, but is clearly inferior to football in every way.

I’m kidding. Well I’m kidding a LITTLE bit anyway.

The reason my lede is about our resident purveyor of Orange Kool-Aid is because Allen likes to make a point during the course of baseball season that is relevant to both sports. As Birds fans have a tendency to freak out over the results of a couple of games (or one game…or a couple of innings…or a single at-bat), Allen likes to send out a reminder that “this isn’t football. There’s 162 games to be played.”

It hasn’t always been good news in Charm City that the O’s have to play 162 games, but the point he makes is relevant. During Ravens season we tend to overreact to one particular game, but we do that knowing that one game reflects roughly six percent of the season. While a NFL team can certainly recover from a stretch of two or three bad games, a bad streak can quickly spiral into killing a quarter of a football season. At the same time, a bad streak of three or four games during baseball season does not even represent the same six percent of the season that one football game represents.

Let me try to step away from math for a second. A single football game is more significant than a single baseball game. But you already knew that.

Seven days ago (which as I type this would have been June 4), there was reason for great concern amongst Baltimore baseball fans. After getting off to a 27-14 start, the Birds were mired in a streak that saw them drop 10 of 13 games. Sitting at 30-24, the Birds had appeared to already be well into their annual “June swoon” and seemed destined to find themselves on their way to the cellar of the AL East.

But something funny happened in the six games that followed. Instead of continuing their free fall, the Birds stabilized. They won two of three against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, then returned home to take two dramatic extra inning contests against the Philadelphia Phillies at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in front of thousands of stunned supporters who had made their way down I-95 from The City of Brotherly Love.

(Continued on Page 2….)

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Future Terps Cleare, Allen Bonding at Capital Classic

Posted on 20 April 2012 by WNST Audio

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OT Bushrod Says Saints Will Work Through Bountygate

Posted on 28 March 2012 by WNST Staff

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Wrapping Up A Week at Radio Row in Indy

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Wrapping Up A Week at Radio Row in Indy

Posted on 04 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

It was another incredible week of Super Bowl coverage for us here at AM1570 WNST.net. Both “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones as well as “The Reality Check” with Glenn Clark emanated from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis every day. “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio was also part of the daily fun.

In case you missed anything we did, here is a list of the guest segments available for your consumption right now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

-Adam Sandler (Actor)

-Matt Birk (Baltimore Ravens C)

-Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts Head Coach, former Ravens DC)

-Curt Schilling (Former Baltimore Orioles/Boston Red Sox/Arizona Diamondbacks/Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher)

-Shannon Sharpe (Former Baltimore Ravens/Denver Broncos Hall of Fame TE, CBS)

-AJ Green (Cincinnati Bengals WR)
-Ingrid & Sarah Harbaugh (Wives of John & Jim Harbaugh)

-Jim Schwartz (Detroit Lions Head Coach)

-Mike Smith (Atlanta Falcons Head Coach)

-Marcus Allen (Hall of Fame RB)
-Larry The Cable Guy (Comedian)

-Priest Holmes (Former Baltimore Ravens/Kansas City Chiefs RB)

-Vanilla Ice (Musician/Actor)
-Will Forte (Actor/Comedian/Saturday Night Live alum)

-Lynn Swann (Former Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame WR)
-Greg Ballard (Mayor of Indy)

-Dustin Keller (New York Jets TE)
-Jason Taylor (Former Miami Dolphins DE)
-Frank Caliendo (Comedian)

-Jay Mohr (Actor/Comedian)

-David Feherty (Golf Channel)

-Mike Haynes (Former New England Patriots Hall of Fame CB)
-Brian Billick (Former Baltimore Ravens coach FOX/NFL Network)
-Herm Edwards (Former New York Jets/Kansas City Chiefs coach, ESPN)

-Dick Vermeil (Former Super Bowl winning St. Louis Rams coach)
-Marv Levy (Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame coach)

-Joe Theismann (Former Washington Redskins QB, NFL Network)

-Lorenzo Neal (Former Baltimore Ravens/San Diego Chargers FB)
-Rich Gannon (Former Oakland Raiders QB, CBS)
-Antonio Pierce (Former NY Giants LB)

-Jack Youngblood (Los Angeles Rams Hall of Fame DE)

-Dhani Jones (Former Cincinnati Bengals LB)

-Robbie Gould (Chicago Bears Kicker)
-Morten Anderson (Former New Orleans Saints/Atlanta Falcons Kicker)
-Bonnie Bernstein (ESPN/University of Maryland alum)
-Peter King (SI/NBC)
-Lesley Visser (CBS)
-Sal Paolantonio (ESPN)
-Laura Kaeppeler (Miss America 2012)

-Chrissy Teigen (SI Swimsuit Issue model)
-Will Witherspoon (Tennessee Titans LB)

(More on Page 2…)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 22 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour World Cup of Golf (Wednesday-Saturday 10:30pm from Shenzhen, China live on Golf Channel); Boxing: Canelo Alvarez vs. Kermit Cintron (Saturday 10:30pm from Mexico City, Mexico live on HBO); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 59 (Saturday 9pm from Atlantic City live on MTV2); College Soccer: NCAA Tournament Louisville @ Maryland (Sunday 5pm Ludwig Field); Women’s College Basketball: St. Joseph’s @ Maryland (Tuesday 7pm Comcast Center)

10. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band (Friday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); The Bridge Farewell Show (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live), Staind (Sunday 6pm Rams Head Live), Reel Big Fish/Streetlight Manifesto (Monday 6pm Rams Head Live); Crack The Sky (Saturday 8pm Recher Theatre); Airborne Toxic Event (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), They Might Be Giants (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); Leon Russell (Tuesday 8:30pm State Theatre); Kirk Franklin (Saturday 7pm Lyric Opera House); Daughtry “Break The Spell” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I can’t go to Bob Seger Friday night. It’s an incredibly long story (my family celebrates holidays a day late) that I don’t want to talk about. But in honor of the festive weekend, I’ll just go ahead and assume he’ll break out “Little Drummer Boy”…

I can’t believe this is the last time Cris Jacobs and the boys from The Bridge will be playing together. It’s almost impossible. The show is sold out. I might tear up a bit.

I don’t know if I’m an Airborne Toxic Event “fan”, but I know I’m a fan of this tune…

Kirk Franklin is a legendary gospel performer. In one of the most inexplicable moments in music history, he had a smash hit on MTV/Pop radio in 1997. You know you know the words…

9. Glenn Clark’s Thanksgiving Plans (Thursday); Festival of Trees (Friday-Sunday Timonium Fairgrounds); Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Thursday 9am from New York live on NBC); The Muppets & “Arthur Christmas” out in theaters (Tuesday); Judah Friedlander (Friday & Saturday DC Improv)

I spent much of my adolescence wanting to be Fozzie Bear. If you don’t sing along to this you’re just a bad person…

Also, I’m looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with the Clark family, but I’ll admit I’m a bit confused by why it is that my mother has requested my girlfriend bring buffalo chicken dip to dinner this year. It’s just kinda weird. Whatever we consume, I know one thing. This Saturday I’ll be enjoying a “Thanksgiving Sandwich.” Wheat bread, turkey, potatoes and barbeque sauce. It sounds weird to you, but trust me on this one.

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Former Terps ready to hit court in first Maryland Madness under Turgeon

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Former Terps ready to hit court in first Maryland Madness under Turgeon

Posted on 14 October 2011 by Ryan Chell

The 40th anniversary of Maryland Midnight Madness starts tonight at the Comcast Center at 9:30PM, and while most occurred under Gary Williams’ tenure at College Park, Mark Turgeon is ready  approach his first as basketball coach of the Terps.

Festivities include the Alumni Game, featuring several prominent members of the 2002 National Championship Team including Juan Dixon, Steve Blake, Chris Wilcox, and Byron Mouton.

The game is set to honor the ten year anniversary of the National Championship-the school’s first in program history.

Terps from other squads include Steve Francis, Greivis Vasquez, Johnny Rhodes, Eric Hayes, Dave Neal, and Eric Hayes.

“We’ll be having a really good list of players playing,” Hayes (2006-2010) said to Thyrl Nelson Wednesday. “With guys like Steve Blake, Juan Dixon, Wilcox, Steve Francis…I’ve heard Greivis is coming to play…it should be a pretty star-studded alumni game.”

Chris Wilcox

“It’s definitely going to be great going back to see those guys,” Chris Wilcox (2000-2002)-a key piece of the National Title team-told Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Thursday. “It’s going to be a great re-union, and it will be a great time.

Some of them-like Wilcox and Grizzlies guard Greivis Vasquez-are current NBA stars, and with the league in labor limbo, this is the only basketball they’re able to experience at this point.

“It’s working out and getting better,” Vasquez said. “Obviously it’s affecting me, but all of us wants to play and unfamiliar…this is something that I’m not used to.”

“Tomorrow is going to be special,” Vasquez added. “I was there for Maryland Madness the last time and now I’m going for the first time not as a college player. It’s going to be fun, and I know it’s going to be a great environment.”

“It gives me an opportunity to work on my game more, so I won’t complain,” Wilcox said. “But at the end of the day, I definitely wouldn’t mind playing and getting the season started.”

Hayes meanwhile,-who has played overseas in Lithuania and Spain since leaving College Park-it’s an opportunity to come home.

Eric Hayes & Greivis Vasquez

“It’s one of those nights that you look forward toward participating in,” Hayes added.

While in College Park, all of them have been  asked by new coach Mark Turgeon and some of the current Terps to pass on his knowledge and insight of the game having been in the league for 11 seasons.

“I’ll be down here for a couple days so I can get a chance to just go in there,” Wilcox said. “They’re going to have a couple practices and maybe I can get in there and just work out with them. I need to work out too…so maybe I can help them out.”

Wilcox was also one of those who felt like it was important for the old players to maintain close relationships with Turgeon and the new regime as opposed to holding a grudge or taking time to develop a relationship.

“They have invitations set up at Walt Williams’ house for everybody to come in and greet the new coach,” Wilcox explained. “I had a lot of time on my hands from this lockout that I was like, ‘Well, hey, let me go up there and meet the new coach’.”

Wilcox said with the pressure of replacing a legend in Gary Williams, Turgeon already has his hands full and Wilcox felt like he needed all the help he could get.

“I wanted to give him our support,” Wilcox said, “to let him know that we were backing him.”

Eric Hayes agreed, and sees good things out of the new coach.

“I am real excited,” Hayes said. “He has a great first couple months at Maryland recruiting-wise. He has done a great job and in a short period of time we’ll end being a good team.”

If anything, bringing a compilation of the 22-year run of Gary Williams at Maryland all at once should be quite the tribute to their former Coach Friday night.

“It’s about time,” Hayes said. “I think with him retiring and all the things he has done for the school…I think it’s only fitting.

There probably isn’t a player coming back Friday night that doesn’t love Gary more than Greivis Vasquez.

“I hope to see Gary there,” Vasquez said. “I haven’t seen Gary in a long time. I want to talk to Coach and say, ‘what’s up?’ I want to see the fans and everybody there. It’s going to be a big time and I’m really excited about that.”

“Gary is the most legendary character in Maryland to me, so that’s big time. I’m happy for him. Gary and I are always friends, and he’s like a dad to me. I’m always going to support him no matter what.”

And playing in the game will allow guys like Wilcox to dust off the championship rings and show them off one more time.

“I usually just keep it tucked away,” Wilcox said. “I don’t even wear it…just in case someone starts talking trash.”

WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Ravens FA CB Fabian Washington before signing w/ Saints: “I won’t be coming back”

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Ravens FA CB Fabian Washington before signing w/ Saints: “I won’t be coming back”

Posted on 01 August 2011 by Ryan Chell

Ravens free agent corner back Fabian Washington signed a one-year deal Sunday with the New Orleans Saints, and while he was fielding calls for nearly a week regarding his free agent status and desire to play, he knew one thing for sure.

He wasn’t returning to the Ravens.

Fabian Washington

“Yes, definitely. I won’t be coming back,” Washington told Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Friday.

That being said, he definitely was tired of waiting to get picked up after the long NFL-lockout which stalled free agency.

“I’m very anxious to get back to football,” Washington said. “I haven’t been off this long since high school. I’m definitely ready to get back to work.”

Washington-who spent the last three seasons with Baltimore after coming over in a draft-day trade with the Raiders in 2008-had been getting calls from several teams in the NFL looking for both corner back depth and guys with starter experience.

But sadly, he knew after losing his starting job to Josh Wilson in 2010, his time in Baltimore was done.

After starting 12 games his first year in Baltimore in 2008 and the first ten games of the 2009 season before suffering a season-ending knee injury versus Indianapolis, Washington struggled at the beginning of 2010 and lost his starting spot after getting torched in the Ravens’ 37-34 OT win.

Washington was often criticized for dropping sure interceptions, his poor tackling, and his slow recovery speed if he got beat.

But, Washington said that he’s used his struggles last year as motivation to get back to playing at a high level.

“You better grow…you can’t go backwards man,” he said. “I try to take all of the positives from everything. I sat back and looked at some things I was doing wrong. I feel like through this off-season I’ve corrected that. I’m 100 percent health-wise, and I feel great. I feel like I’m ready to play ball man, wherever it may be.”

On top of his struggles, it felt even worse to end his Ravens career losing yet again to the one team he learned to envy in the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs once more.

“You never want to lose in the playoffs, and you never want to lose to the Steelers,” Fabian said. “Every loss I’ve been in the playoffs has felt the same, but you don’t want to lose to the Steelers. You don’t want to hear their mouths all off-season.”

Washington’s potential upside, youth and skills-especially his speed-have kept the former 1st-round pick out of Nebraska not only still in the league but still a commodity to an NFL squad.

“I’ve been getting some calls,” Washington said. “Some teams are showing interest. In my position though, there are a couple big guys who need to sign first.”

He was of course referring to ex-Oakland teammate CB Nnamdi Asomugha, the top free agent on the market, who signed a deal with Philadelphia on Friday.

“The dude is a beast,” Washington said-who played with Asomugha from 2005-2007. “He is unreal out there. Teams rarely throw at him. That’s one thing-playing on the other side of him-you better be ready for a whole heap of balls to be thrown at you.”

“You just need to expect that, because no team is going to throw at him. I think the stat was he was thrown at 50 times all year- total. That’s unheard of. You’ve just got to prepare yourself and have your mind right to have a lot of opportunities to get an interception. It’s a coordinator’s dream to have a corner like that.”

He, Chris Carr, and Asomugha-all former Raiders CBs-spent much of the week watching where each of them were projected to go.

“Everybody’s waiting to see where Nnamdi is gonna play,” Washington said last week,  “then the dominoes will start falling at the cornerback position. But me man… I’m just sitting back relaxing.”

And sure enough, as soon as Asomugha signed Friday with Philadelphia and Carr re-signed on Saturday with Baltimore, Washington signed on the final day of the weekend with the Saints.

But despite the fact that he’s now in the Big Easy playing for the 2009 Super Bowl champs, he still holds a high place in his heart for the time he spent in Baltimore the last three years.

“I would definitely say it was a roller coaster,” he said,  “but I enjoyed every minute of it in Baltimore. “It was fun man…a lot of winning. Where I was coming from, I wasn’t used to that.”

“It’s a great place, and I encourage anybody that gets the chance to play there…play there  because you’re gonna win. I have nothing but good things to say about Baltimore.”

WNST thanks Fabian Washington for joining us, and we want to wish him all the best for his time in Baltimore! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Celebrating Alomar and Gillick with Top 10 96-97 O’s Moments

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Celebrating Alomar and Gillick with Top 10 96-97 O’s Moments

Posted on 22 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

On Friday’s edition of “The Mobtown Sports Beat” on AM1570 WNST, Thyrl Nelson and I celebrated Sunday’s Cooperstown Hall of Fame inductions of Roberto Alomar and Pat Gillick with a four hour tribute to the 1996 & 1997 Baltimore Orioles.

During the show, I named my Top 10 moments during that special run in O’s history. As I explained last week, these Birds represented “The Only Magic I’ve Ever Known.”

(I didn’t include Jeffrey Maier or the season ending games in either season on this list. These were the memories we WANT to remember.)

10. Ripken passes Kinugasa (June 15, 1996)

ripkenkinugasu

When Cal Ripken played in his 2,216th consecutive game in Kansas City, he already owned the record for consecutive games played.

If he had stopped at 2,210 consecutive games, there would have been no argument that he didn’t hold the record.

With no offense to Sachio Kinugasa, but nothing that happens in Japan can be fairly compared to anything in Major League Baseball. When Ripken surpassed Lou Gehrig in 1995, the record was his.

That being said, the fact that Kinugasa was able to attend the game at Kauffman Stadium made the warm June night pretty special. The evident connection between the two men made the night even more fun for baseball fans.

If you ever get the chance to chat with CSNBaltimore.com writer (and longtime Baltimore Sun columnist) John Eisenberg about this night, please do. The stories are a LOT of fun. I’d tell you myself, but they aren’t my stories.

9. Mussina NEARLY perfect (May 30, 1997)

moose

I have never been more captivated by watching a baseball game than I was that Friday night.

At the time, Home Team Sports (HTS) was still a premium channel on Comcast in Baltimore County. Friday night games however were regularly available over the air (most on WNUV 54), allowing 8th graders like myself to sit at home and watch the games instead of hanging out with our friends.

I’ll never forgive Sandy Alomar for the hit that he managed off Mike Mussina in the 9th inning that night. His brother is my baseball idol, but his name is evil in my mind.

There’s been only one Orioles no-hitter in my lifetime (a combined effort from Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson in 1991), never a solo no-hitter. I’ve seen the Orioles no-hit themselves a couple of times, but I’ve never seen an Orioles pitcher throw a no-no.

I really thought I was going to that night.

8. Wire to wire (September 25, 1997)

aleast

With their 9-3 defeat of the Blue Jays at the building formerly known as SkyDome, the O’s clinched their first AL East title since 1983.

More significantly, they became only the sixth team in MLB history to win the division title going “wire to wire”, in first place from Opening Day to Game 162.

It was a remarkable run for the Birds, although 14 year old Glenn Clark may not have fully realized how significant it was because he was too worried about playoff matchups and hoping to avoid the Yankees in the ALCS.

He got his way. Unfortunately it didn’t end up making much of a difference.

7. Brady gets 50 (September 29, 1996)

bradya

The legacy of Brady Anderson’s 50 home run season in 1996 can certainly be labeled as “clouded” at best.

That being said, whether the 50 home run campaign (which concluded with a dinger on the season’s final day in Toronto) was aided by substance or simply a result of a former leadoff hitter “reaching his athletic opus”, it still stands as the only time in Orioles history a player has reached the mark.

(Frank Robinson previously held the team record with 49.)

Despite the rumors, following Brady’s home run exploits in 1996 was fun for Orioles fans-especially the stretch were he lead off four straight games by going yard.

And no matter how we felt about it, there’s little chance the Orioles make a run to the ALCS in 1996 without those 50 home runs.

6. A walk off slam (May 17, 1996)

hoiles

Anderson’s “moment” was a season in the making. The Ripken “moment” was nearly 14 years in the making.

Hoiles’ “moment”? Roughly one swing in the making.

The Orioles trailed the Seattle Mariners 13-10 in the 9th inning. What happened next was something I had practiced in my back yard roughly 160,000,000,000 times.

With two outs, the bases loaded and a 3-2 count (of COURSE it was a 3-2 count), Chris Hoiles hit what can only be described as the MOST ultimate of “ultimate grand slams.”

Thank God I hadn’t stopped watching that night.

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Remembering Only “Magic” I’ve Known

Posted on 15 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

I know just how frustrating the 2011 season has been for Baltimore Orioles fans.

I also know how frustrating the 2010 season was. And 2009. And 2008. And 2007. And 2006. And…I think you get the point.

I was born on September 6, 1983. Just over a month later (October 16) the O’s vanquished the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 5 to claim their third (and still most recent) World Series title. Despite being alive for 40 days when it happened, I’m ashamed to say I have no memories of the title.

The 1989 Birds were a special group. I’ve watched the “Why Not” video a number of times in my life, mostly thanks to my friends BJ and Chris Appel. While they finished short of winning the American League East crown, the team has left many folks in Charm City with special memories.

Unfortunately, I had just turned six years old when the season was cut short. My memories of the ’89 Orioles are extremely limited, and the team itself really didn’t mean much to me as a baseball fan.

I’ve made it quite clear that I am much more of a lacrosse person than I am a baseball person. I’ve made it obvious that certain things about baseball in recent years have made me turn from the game. That’s been made worse by the fact that the team here in Baltimore has given me almost nothing to enjoy for nearly 15 years now. Like many other fans in this city, the demise of our own team has lead to a lessened interested in the sport in general.

That wasn’t the case in 1996.

My 12th birthday was September 5, 1995. It was a special day to be an Orioles fan (like I need to tell you) as Cal Ripken passed Lou Gehrig by playing in his 2,131st consecutive game. My parents were kind enough to purchase me EXACTLY what I wanted for my birthday that year-an oversized Orioles “Starter” brand jacket.

(I know I wasn’t the only one who wore a Starter jacket at the time.)

I’m pretty sure I didn’t take that jacket off for two years-even in the summer.

Baseball was my most significant love in 1996. The Ravens came into existence during the offseason but wouldn’t “take over” the city for another three to four years. In fact, as rabid as we were in Baltimore for the return of the NFL, there were multiple games between Memorial Stadium and what was then known as PSINet Stadium in the early years of the Ravens’ existence that were “sold out”, but featured less than empty crowds.

It was a baseball town, and I loved the Orioles more than I even loved girls.

One of the most exciting moments of my life was the day I found out Home Team Sports (HTS) had been moved from the “premium” tier of Comcast programming in Baltimore County and instead became a basic cable channel.

I was that crazy about the Orioles.

In 8th grade, I was often caught not paying attention to teachers in class. While other kids were writing love notes, I was found to be drawing miniature baseball diamonds and impressing my friends with my ability to name the starting nine for every other team in Major League Baseball.

I was a complete and total nutjob when it came to baseball.

I’m not sure I can fairly explain how much those 1996 & 1997 teams meant to me as I hit puberty. My entire attitude was determined by what the Orioles had done the night before.

I still remember coming home from Perry Hall High School one late fall afternoon in 1995 to have my dad tell me the Orioles had signed Roberto Alomar. I didn’t believe him at first, but ultimately celebrated as if I had received straight A’s on my report card.

The 1996 & 1997 Orioles gave me some of the happiest memories of my life as a sports fan. They also of course gave me some of the saddest memories of my life, as they failed to advance past the ALCS in both years.

As far as “Orioles Magic” is concerned, the only thing I REALLY know about “magic” for the Orioles franchise happened during those two seasons.

I’ve explained my excitement about Alomar’s impending induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame many times. Part of my identity as a Baltimore sports personality is tied to my affection to the man who will take his place in Cooperstown next weekend.

I find it fitting that as Alomar enters the Hall of Fame, he will share the stage with the architect of those Orioles teams, former General Manager Pat Gillick. Gillick’s career is directly tied to Alomar, having brought the second baseman to the Toronto Blue Jays, where the pair would win two World Series titles. Gillick would go on to bring Alomar to Baltimore, where he would lead the O’s to their only Wild Card playoff berth and their first AL East crown in 14 seasons.

My guess is that most of the coverage surrounding next weekend’s induction ceremony will be about the time Alomar and Gillick shared with the Jays. But for Orioles fans, next weekend’s ceremony will be a reminder of a special (albeit short) era of success in Baltimore.

It’s with that in mind that I am happy to announce that Thyrl Nelson and I have come together to dedicate next Friday’s (7/22) edition of “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to the 1996 & 1997 Baltimore Orioles.

We’ll use the show to congratulate Alomar and Gillick on entering the Hall of Fame, as well as to honor the teams that were truthfully the most special in my lifetime.

We’ll talk to players, coaches, broadcasters and even fans who were around those teams. Some interviews will be live, some will be taped earlier in the week. As guests continue to confirm, I’ll do my best to pass them along.

Older Orioles fans might not look back on the ’96 and ’97 with the same fondness that I do. But this is all I’ve known of winning baseball in Baltimore…well…ever.

It’s going to be a lot of fun. I hope you’ll tune in next Friday to AM1570 WNST or online at WNST.net to join in the celebration. I hope you’ll chime in with calls, emails, Tweets (@WNST or @GlennClarkWNST on Twitter), Facebook messages and other memories of those teams.

It’s the only “Magic” I’ve ever experienced, and it doesn’t look like it will be changing soon.

(Eds. Note: A previous version of this post mistakenly stated the Ravens had experienced “multiple blackouts” in their early years.)

-G

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Former Terp Jordan Williams on if decision to go pro affected Gary Williams retirement: “I know he wouldn’t make a decision after just one situation”

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Former Terp Jordan Williams on if decision to go pro affected Gary Williams retirement: “I know he wouldn’t make a decision after just one situation”

Posted on 28 June 2011 by Ryan Chell

Former Terps center/forward Jordan Williams may not have realized his importance  when he submitted his name to the 2011 NBA Draft, but now after being selected with the 36th selection in last Thursday’s NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets, his career is going to be watched for an even bigger reason.

Following Jordan Williams out of Maryland was legendary coach Gary Williams, and with Jordan being the focal point of Gary’s final run in College Park, that also means that Jordan Williams maybe will Gary Williams’ last project to be sent to the NBA.

But Williams-who took a lot of criticism from Terps nation and NBA experts alike-said he felt like he was more ready to move on and is ready and honored to carry on what Gary Williams taught him at College Park toward his NBA game.

“It’s definitely an honor,” Jordan told Glenn Clark and Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Monday. “Just knowing the list of guys that he’s put through the league…for me to be a part of that list is just unbelieveable. I’m definitely excited.”

As a freshman in 2009-2010, Jordan Williams formed a solid 1-2 punch with senior guard Greivis Vasquez as Maryland made its way to an ACC Title. Making an impact right away, he was second in the conference in rebounding and was expected to take an even bigger role in the offense going forward the following season with Vasquez moving on to the NBA.

Which he did.

And despite freshman Terrell Stoglin coming on late in 2010-2011, Jordan Williams found himself as the team’s only option his sophomore year in College Park.  On the Naismith Watch to start the year, Williams averaged a double-double (16.9 PPG, 11.8 RPG) for the Terps this year, becoming one of the best players in the country.

He recorded 13 straight double-doubles as a matter of fact, breaking the longtime record set by Len Elmore and ended the season with 25 overall-also good for second best in the nation.

But with Maryland missing both the NCAA and NIT Tournaments and with question marks about both the program and the future of the NBA, Williams announced he was leaving the University of Maryland and signed with longtime agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports.

That decision, and his eventual selection by the Nets in the 2nd round last week, ended his career as a Terp.

Williams told Clark and Nelson that he’s heard every reason as to why people think he left College Park early to go pro.

But he doesn’t care.

“There’s been a lot of talk about why I did it,” Williams said, “but now I’m definitely happy I made the decision to leave.”

But it wasn’t always his intent from the start.

Williams did say he was planning to make to return to College Park after first testing the draft waters in Las Vegas before signing on with ASM, but ultimately he kept hearing good things about his draft stock at those workouts forcing him to move forward with his transition to the next level.

“I was planning on coming back,” Williams said, “but when I went out there my confidence built and I made such strides. I changed my body too much and it was just the right time for me to go.”

Williams said he consulted as many people as possible before making the decision to turn his back on Maryland, but ultimately the backing of two individuals- Gary Williams and Greivis Vasquez-made the decision that much easier.

“Greivis was very positive on my decision as well,” Williams said. “He just gave me all the advice he could which was, ‘Do whatever you feel is best and don’t buy into what other people tell you because you’ll have to live through it’.”

And he was surprised to see his coach as supportive as he was given the fact he knew Gary wanted Jordan Williams back in his lineup.

“He definitely helped me out a lot,” Jordan said. “He was a huge influence on my life basketball-wise. He knows so much about past players going into the league and making the right decision, so I asked him his advice and what he thought.”

“He definitely gave me a lot of good information as far as making the decision.”

Those staring at the situation from afar said that Jordan Williams entering the NBA Draft was ultimately the determining factor in Gary Williams’ abrupt retirement after 22 years coaching the Terps.

The former student-athlete and third-team All-American said that knowing Gary for as long as he had, he knows that his coach would not have made that rash of a decision over one player leaving, even if it was him.

“Knowing Coach, I know he wouldn’t make a decision after just one situation or one event that happened,” Williams said. “I know he put a lot of time and effort into his decision and did it for all the right reasons.”

Jordan said those same critics didn’t stop there-saying that he could have maybe done himself better by staying one more year at Maryland to fine tune his game. But again, Williams said just being in the NBA and going to a class-organization like the New Jersey Nets is all he can ask for.

“I couldn’t have gone to a better organization, a better place, or a better situation being a rookie coming into the league,” Williams said. “A lot of people were talking about maybe as high as 25 (where his new teammate Marshawn Brooks was drafted by the Celtics who then immediately shipped him to NJ) but at the end of the day I kind of knew where I was falling and I knew the teams and the different slots.”

In the end, Williams said-it was all about getting the call in general.

“I was just excited that my name was gonna even be called at that point…I didn’t even care what the number was.”

Williams says now it’s about getting ready to play in the NBA and getting comfortable with his new teammates, including two-time All-Star guard Deron Williams.

“Deron’s a great guy..one of the best in the league,” Williams said. “For me to be a part of his team, I’m speechless to get the chance to meet him and I’m so excited to pick his brain and learn so much about him.”

Williams has already been told by scouts to prepare himself to play the #4 power forward on the floor, meaning he’ll probably have to lose some weight from his 6’10”, 260-lb frame.

“I know that’s my goal,” Williams said. “That’s where they have met set up. That’s where I worked out for, and that’s why I’ve been trying to change my body from a five to a four. They saw that, and they’re definitely excited for me to start at that position and do what I can to help this team win a world championship.”

And ultimately for those still worried about the lack of his presence in the Comcast Center this winter, he knows that the keys have been left in good hands with Mark Turgeon coaching and, Terrell Stoglin, Pe’Shon Howard, James Padgett and others on the court.

“I talked to them all recently and they’re excited about it,” Williams said of the upcoming season. “They’re great players. They have a great head on their shoulders and great work ethic and they’re going to put themselves in a position to succeed.”

WNST thanks Jordan Williams for joining “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Monday morning! Be sure to follow Jordan on Twitter @JWilliams20 and continue to follow WNST-We Never Stop Trying to Save You Money!

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