Posted on 04 April 2012 by WNSTV
Posted on 03 August 2011 by WNST Staff
With the departure of Dawan Landry, the Ravens needed more help at the safety position and have apparently found it in former Houston Texan Bernard Pollard, who is expected to join Baltimore on Thursday. Pollard was a second round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2006 and will add much-needed depth in the purple secondary.
Pollard had a huge 2009 with the Texans and established himself as a big tackler and was involved in a hard hit below the waist that ended Tom Brady’s season in 2008 while with the Chiefs that garnered him a reputation. Pollard apologized for the hit saying: “It was really an accident, I can’t change what happened. I can’t do anything but pray for him and hope he has a speedy recovery.”
Pollard attended Purdue University and will compete for a starting spot in the secondary with Ed Reed, Haruki Nakamura and Tom Zbikowski.
Posted on 18 May 2011 by Nestor Aparicio
So, it’s been almost two months since the Mighty Kegasus advertising campaign began and it’s now almost time to fully assess the success of the marketing of the 2011 Preakness. So far, so good in the only measurement that really matters — sales are up 21% for Saturday infield tickets. I said it on Day One and no matter the result of selling a few thousand extra tickets and mugs of Budweiser this week, my strong opinion has only intensified since I began seeing the billboards all over town – this is the dumbest, most short-sighted and irresponsible advertising campaign since Winston told America it “tastes good, like a suicide should.”
Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Shame on Tom Chuckas. Shame on the marketing idiots in Washington, D.C. who spit this out and shame on anyone who thinks this somehow will add prestige to an event and a weekend in Baltimore that’s in desperate need of not just short-term-revenue gain and a little “shot in the arm” for attendance but a real transplant for its reputation and its future as a viable “major sporting event” and not just a weekend drunkfest with frat boys and the girls who love them.
As much as I lean on the Orioles for their indiscretions and lack of a focus on integrity – mainly issues of transparency, honesty, accountability, chronic losing, bullying, faux civic and community interest all while profiteering and buying off of the local “real media”– even the Orioles aren’t this dumb.
But as desperate as the fan base is in Baltimore to see them win, Peter Angelos is far from desperate on the marketing side because he’s printing money downtown off the television contract. The Maryland Jockey Club doesn’t have a public subsidy of $100 million each year so this is the kind of desperation you’d be getting from the baseball team if they REALLY needed to fill those bleachers.
The Orioles slogan has been for almost 15 years – “Come To Birdland” not “Come Downtown and Get S**tfaced and Make a Fool of Yourself.” But, of course, the Orioles FANS are desperate to see wins but the Orioles are NOT desperate for revenue, profit or a financial shot in the arm. It’s only made to look that way when they upcharge (or is it scalp?) you on Opening Day and charge you a “walk up fee” to take advantage of a stadium our tax dollars just paid $10 million more to replace the perfectly unused seats, so much like Angelos himself can earn a retirement home on the blue shores of Florida.
And where the Orioles have employed various forms of “alcohol police” in the bleachers at Camden Yards who literally walk seat-to-seat and card people to make sure they’re 21 (NO, I’m NOT making this up!) this Saturday the Preakness folks are rolling out the world’s largest frat party and have moved toward marketing it as such.
This is what you want the Preakness to be?
The ogre of Baltimore, on a horse, completely equipped to be a “legendary” a**hole on the third Saturday of May – and now with unprecedented pre-approval and encouragement because the billboards all over town are selling the event as such.
Who in the world thought this was a good idea for this community, the brand of the Preakness or the long-term viability of horse racing? It’s the day of the year that is supposed to matter and the focus isn’t on the race but more on how big the party in the infield will be and whether or not bare-chested women will parading on the shoulders of men for tips.
There is no more focus on the growth of the industry on the third Saturday of May. There is no more talk about whether the race will even be in Baltimore in five years. Instead, the community is hearing: “Come be legendary!”
Does Under Armour really want a million-dollar
Posted on 15 November 2010 by Thyrl Nelson
I’m pretty well aware that this comparison has been done to death over the last week or so, but I really wanted to make my final evaluation after watching these two go at it head to head. So since re-watching the Ravens @ Falcons a few times proved to be the low-light of my weekend, and since the highlight of my weekend was a fantastic time at John Rallo’s Shogun Fights III, I figured I’d give my first final say on the Flacco vs. Ryan debate in tale of the tape fashion.
The Price Tag: Start with the obvious, as the 3rd overall pick in the 2008 draft, Matt Ryan reportedly signed a rookie contract worth $66 million over 6 years. Bonuses aside, in layman’s math that’s $11 million per season. As the 18th pick overall, Flacco signed a 5-year deal worth about $30 million, or a relatively small $6 million per year or roughly 55% of Ryan’s annual salary. If the rest of the comparison is debatable, then it’s easy to say that the Ravens are getting more for their investment in Flacco than the Falcons are in Ryan, but the price tag argument goes much deeper than just their respective salaries.
When comparing the “pound-for-pound” values of these two, we are provided with a somewhat unique perspective on things. According to Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column on November 9th, the Ravens inquired with the St. Louis Rams prior to the 2008 draft about acquiring their first round pick that year (2nd overall) presumably to draft Ryan. King reported the price tag to be the Ravens 1st round pick (8th overall), 2nd round pick (38th overall) and 4th round pick (106th overall) in 2008, plus an additional third rounder in 2009. Instead the Ravens traded their 1st rounder to Jacksonville for for their first round pick (26th overall), two third round picks (71st & 89th overall), and a fourth round pick (125th overall). After that they traded the 26th and 89th picks just acquired from Jacksonville, along with their own 6th round pick (173rd overall) to Houston to move back up to 18th and select Flacco. The second rounder they would have sent to St. Louis (38th overall) was instead sent to Seattle for a second round pick (55th overall) and a third (86th overall).
Confused yet? Here’s the short story, the Ravens selected Flacco with the 18th pick gotten from Houston and gave up their own 6th rounder. They selected Ray Rice with the 55th pick gotten from Seattle, selected Tavares Gooden with the 71st pick gotten from Jacksonville, and Zibikowski with the 86th pick, gotten in the Seattle deal too. They also selected Marcus Smith with the 106th pick which was the 4th rounder that St. Louis wanted, and traded the 125th pick also from Jacksonville for Fabian Washington. The following year, the Ravens selected Lardarius Webb with their third round pick (88th) overall, which the Rams had also reportedly asked for as part of a deal. That makes the Ravens real choice in hindsight either Matt Ryan and an unknown 6thround pick (173rd overall) which the Texans used to select Dominique Barber, or Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Tavares Gooden, Tom Zibikowski, Marcus Smith, Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb.
*It should be noted that King’s report was based on information apparently leaked by the St. Louis organization. As Chris Pika points out here, the Ravens remain firm that no offer was made by them to the Rams, and this was just St. Louis attempting to posture and compel Atlanta to trade up. Still, if this was the reported asking price, it’s fair to say that whether they actually ever considered trading or not, we know what the cost of moving up would likely have been
Commanding the offense: It should be expected that Ryan should still have the early lead here. A starter since the last game of his freshman year at Boston College, Ryan had numerous opportunities to measure himself against high caliber and often times pro style defenses. He didn’t sneak up on the league like Flacco, and certainly had the entire football world’s attention as he embarked on his senior season. To that end Ryan has responded at every turn, maintaining his esteemed draft status throughout his senior season, and quickly living up to his billing as a high draft pick.
Flacco on the other hand after losing out on the opportunity to start to Tyler Palko at Pitt, snuck up on the football world on the strength of one strong season at Delaware, albeit against far lesser competition, and some strong pre-draft workouts. It should be considered a virtual no-brainer that Ryan enjoyed a substantial head start as it relates to football IQ and high level experience.
What’s more, while their NFL careers will seemingly be forever intertwined because of their similar circumstances, if you look deeper, perhaps their circumstances aren’t quite as similar as they might appear. Both were made first year starters under first year coaches, and both propelled their teams into the playoffs as rookies, that much is undeniable. But when John Harbaugh took over the Ravens, despite their miserable campaign the previous season, the feeling was that the team could turn things around right away if a few things went their way. The Falcons on the other hand turned over the reigns to Mike Smith in the immediate wake of Bobby Petrino, and not long after Michael Vick, for a franchise that hasn’t seen a lot of upside historically, it appeared as if they might have been in for their darkest hours.
To that end, the Ravens, forced to start Flacco from day one due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, did their best to hide the shortcomings of their rookie signal caller, balancing his development with the best interests of the team from a competitive standpoint. It’s hard to argue with their success. The Falcons on the other hand, with seemingly little to lose, placed a lot on their rookie QB right away, and to his credit he has responded in spades.
Therefore, it seems pretty easy not only to assess that Ryan is further along in his development in responding to defenses on the fly, but easy to diagnose the reasons why too. It could be argued too that Ryan is further along in this capacity because his coaches have allowed him to be. With that said, fans should also believe that if the Ravens coaching staff has been reluctant to put more on Flacco’s shoulders, it may be for good reason, and not simply because they believe that audibles are overrated. It could easily be argued that Flacco has come farther faster in his development than Ryan, but it seems pretty clear right now that he still has catching up to do.
Advantage: Ryan NEXT PAGE
Posted on 10 January 2010 by Drew Forrester
Let me get this straight.
New England hadn’t lost a home playoff game in 31 years — and in that time they were 11-0 in Foxborough.
Tom Brady was 8-0 at home in his post-season career.
Baltimore’s pedestrian 9-7 regular season mark this year included a dismal 3-5 away record.
So with all of that statistical data overloaded against Baltimore, it made perfect sense that the Ravens would race out to a 24-0 first quarter lead and cruise to a 33-14 win in New England today.
If you say so.
What a crazy league the NFL has become.
And what a crazy season it’s been for the Ravens, who literally entered the 4th quarter of their final regular season game in Oakland with their playoff berth still very much in jeopardy.
7 days later, they’ve polished off the mystique of the New England Patriots and they’re on their way to Indianapolis for a Saturday evening showdown with Peyton Manning and the Colts.
The New England fans hung around until there were about 9 minutes to go in the game.
They put in more of an effort than Randy Moss, that’s for sure.
So how did it happen today?
In a way only the dreamer could possibly imagine, the Ravens scored on their first play from scrimmage and then parlayed two first quarter turnovers into a 24-0 lead before half the crowd could say, “Want another cup of chow-dahh?”
And with their star quarterback obviously in need of a spark-plug change and Moss mailing it in like a member of the Postal Service, the Patriots were left with nothing to do except entertain an afternoon of boos from their faithful and wonder to themselves how on earth they picked today to have their worst game of the season.
As for the Ravens, they picked a great time to produce their best 30 minutes of defensive football all season, that’s for sure.
With Ray Lewis providing yet another epic post-season performance and Domonique Foxworth leading an opportunistic secondary, Baltimore clamped down early and often on both Brady and the running game en-route to a comfortable 24-7 halftime lead.
And when Willis McGahee scampered in with 10:32 to play to make it 33-14, the stands started to empty.
So it’s now on to Indianapolis, where the Ravens will undoubtedly have January 13, 2007 on their minds. Fresh off of a 13-3 regular season and a first-week playoff bye, Steve McNair had a game only Tom Brady could duplicate (today) and the Baltimore offense stalled in a 15-6 loss to Indy.
Next Saturday night in Indy, it’s payback time for Ray Lewis, Todd Heap, Ed Reed and the rest of the guys who were part of that disappointing home defeat.
It had to be this way, right?
Baltimore vs. Indianapolis.
Winner goes to the AFC Championship game.
Loser goes home.
One thing for sure: Tom Brady won’t be making a trip to South Florida in early February to gun for his 4th ring.
The Ravens made sure of that today in New England.
Now if they can send next week’s opposing quarterback home early, we might really be on to something.
Posted on 07 January 2010 by Nestor Aparicio
I’m not an expert on much, but Baltimore sports and enthusiasm are two things I’ve spent my entire existence since 1972 immersed in here in the Charm City. And even though the Ravens are traveling to New England this weekend for an honest-to-God, NFL playoff game, I’m sensing this is the least-exciting postseason run in the history of Baltimore sports.
I have more ways to take the temperature of the city than I care to admit. From emails and AM 1570 to thousands of people on Facebook, Twitter and in a variety of web locales — this is a tepid metropolis right now regarding the Ravens.
I’m just looking for some purple string lights around the region and I’m not “feeling the love” for the 2009 Ravens.
Where’s YOUR purple, Baltimore?
Now before you say, “Nasty – I’m fired up for the game on Sunday, what are you talking about?” I will respond with facts (not low blows…).
Fact: There are still many flights into Providence, Boston and Manchester all day on Friday and Saturday.
Fact: There were still seats left on my bus a few hours ago. I reserved NINE buses for the weekend. I’m using TWO.
Fact: Seats for the game on the internet are face value (or BELOW) in almost every case. There are PLENTY of tickets to be had. Hate to be Capt. Obvious here, but ANYONE can get in their car on Saturday and drive up to the game very inexpensively…if they’re willing to brave a 20-degree day.
Fact: I’m not even getting a trickle of the email traffic, the “Hey Nasty, where’s the party this New England” emails like I usually do. We have over 100 people on our Facebook “I’m Going to New England this weekend” page, but I figured we’d have at least 500.
Last weekend in Oakland, there were less Ravens fans than I’ve ever seen at a road game. Matter of fact, there was no audible “Ohhh” in the National Anthem. Other than family members of players, I didn’t see a hint of purple or Ravens fans anywhere.
The tickets are dirt cheap in New England and the Patriots fans don’t want them either. All four locations this weekend have spare tickets for LESS than face value!!!
The Patriots fans are setting the tone for the “unplayoffs.” They’ve won three Super Bowls, two World Series and an NBA Championship in the last nine years. Judging from the depth of cheap seats on the internet, the Chowdah’s aren’t so impressed with this version of the Patriots, either. Apparently, if a bye isn’t involved, the New England fans will skip another 20-degree afternoon in Foxborough.
The game itself has all sorts of drama built into it that no playoff game really needs. The Tom Brady-Ray Lewis issue from September. The comeback in 2007 that ended with the Patriots keeping their undefeated season in tact. And, the sheer volume of freaking Red Sox fans that take over Baltimore three times a summer ought to get purple fans pissed off enough to go up to New England and take over a significant portion of their “unused” tickets.
Here’s a link to the Tom Brady Bang Cartoon from September if you haven’t seen it. A wild portrayal of Greg Mattison for sure. And very funny…
Here’s the current reality of the Providence situation for WNST:
I’ve not only been on every postseason roadtrip the Ravens have ever had, I’ve been the only one throwing gigantic parties for people in purple.
I’m not sensing that we’ll have 1,500 people at Dave & Buster’s in Providence Saturday night like we did in Nashville. I’m not sure we’ll have 1,500 fans at the game yelling “Ohhhh” in the National Anthem on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Sure there are reasons to be optimistic:
So, get out those purple lights. Consider a last-minute “roadie” up I-95 after tonight’s snowstorm. Buy some tickets. Bring a parka.
I’d hate to think that Baltimore can’t get 1000% behind Festivus 2010.
Of course, if the Ravens win on Sunday afternoon, I don’t think we’ll have any problem getting people stoked about going out to Indianapolis to kick Peyton Manning’s ass. And yes, our bus will be on sale at 5 p.m. Sunday if that’s the case…
I have a feeling the city will be awash in purple when our Gunther buses pull back into Baltimore after midnight with a ticket punched to Ind-ia-no-place.
Posted on 05 January 2010 by Nestor Aparicio
It’s no secret that this is our favorite time of the year. The Ravens are in the playoffs, with the possibility of surprising the NFL and shocking the world, and we’re headed to New England this weekend for drinks, smiles, cheers and some postseason, chilly football in Foxborough. If you (or someone you know or love) is headed to the Ravens-Patriots game this weekend, please share this blog and have them join our Facebook group called “I’m going to New England this weekend.”
We still have seats left on our 2nd Miller Lite Purple Playoff bus as well.
If anyone needs me directly, I can be reached here (email@example.com) or on Facebook at Nestor J. Aparicio.
As our baseball owner once said: “I’m a very available individual…”
Posted on 30 October 2009 by Nestor Aparicio
I’m not one for cartoons, jokes, chain letters or general web stuff that I refer to as “spam.” (And for the 1000th time, NO, I don’t want to play Mafia Wars with you on Facebook! Stop sending me that manure!)
However, I got this link forwarded to me on Facebook (thanks, Tom!) and, well, it’s pretty freaking good.
It’s PG-13, don’t worry…thank me later!
Be ready to laugh…
Posted on 17 August 2009 by Nestor Aparicio
Three months ago I had the privilege — well, actually, it was more disgusting than enjoyable — of sitting two feet behind Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis on a flight from Southern California to the Bay Area. He was pleasant, filthy and old. Like, VERY old.
At the owner’s meetings, you can only imagine the treatment he’s given after treating the first “establishment” like enemies — moving his team, suing them and coining the phrase “abstain” during any of the league’s votes on various issues from collective bargaining to television deals.
The Oakland Raiders have always been a little kooky because, like the Orioles, they have a kooky owner.
Davis is eccentric, borderline senile and clearly marches to his own beat.
But tonight, with whispered words leaking that his current head coach Tom Cable might’ve assaulted one of his own assistant coaches (defensive assistant Randy Hanson) in a meeting and went as far as to send him to a clinic for an apparent broken jaw, this puts the league and the rest of the teams on red alert as to how weird and uprofessional a place that Oakland is to work in the NFL. (Later tonight, ESPN refuted the intial report and now the word is it could’ve been an altercation between defensive coordinator John Marshall who fought with Hanson).
Among the people I know in the league, the Raiders are a lot like the Orioles — they are the LAST place in the league you’d want to work because the place isn’t run like the rest of the “premier” teams in the sport.
In this SI.com piece, the magazine named Angelos and Davis as the “two worst owners in sports.” So, please, don’t think that I’m being “original” on any level making this comparison.
But Oakland is clearly a zoo on a lot of levels. It must really suck to be a Raiders fan, especially when you hear this kind of stupidity and childish behavior.
Clearly, Roger Goodell is going to find this on his desk tomorrow morning and the fans and the pundits will be piling on Davis and how screwed up the Raiders are.
And this is on top of all of the allegations of Mike Shanahan from 20 years ago and Lane Kiffin’s bizarre departure last season amidst a sea of turmoil.
Geez…beating up your own assistants!
And these are the people RUNNING the organization?
Can you imagine John Harbaugh punching an assistant coach? Or Brian Billick? Or Marvin Lewis?
It just wouldn’t happen.
Now, of course, at least Rex Ryan could say that he has it in his DNA based on the Buddy-Kevin Gilbride episode.
Here’s a sample of an Al Davis press conference:
Posted on 12 July 2009 by Nestor Aparicio
I had a long conversation with an old friend about Earl Weaver earlier today. We talked about the you tube classics — the argument with Tom Haller and the “off the record” Coaches Corner with Tom Marr, which I’ve linked below for a Sunday morning coffee laugh.
My old pal and I laughed about the memories of watching Earl rip up rulebooks and kick dirt onto umpires. And how he invented the modern game. And how different baseball was when we were kids.
Later this evening, I received a link from a friend to read Tom Verducci’s latest missive regarding The Earl Of Baltimore and how he was the “Copernicus” of the modern game of baseball and sabremetrics and MoneyBall.
The story is here…and it’s fabulous!
Meanwhile, enjoy some Sunday viewing and laughs and memories below…