Tag Archive | "troy smith"

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Quoth the Raven: SURPRISE!

Posted on 05 September 2010 by Domenic Vadala

There are generally surprises on every team when the 53-man roster is announced. In my opinion, the biggest surprise from the Ravens’ roster cuts yesterday was QB Troy Smith. When he was drafted I thought that Smith had a bright future in the league, and I still think he could be a solid quarterback. It’s fairly obvious at this point that he probably won’t start for the Ravens anytime soon, however that’s not to say that he couldn’t play somewhere else. (We should also keep in mind that five players will be allowed to be place on the practice squad; odds are Smith will be one of those five.)

The bigger surprise to me isn’t that Smith was cut outright, but that the team’s only going with two quarterbacks. While it certainly helps to have that extra roster spot potentially for another wideout or running back, I think it’s a very risky move. You never know when a backup, or even a third stringer is going to be pressed into action in the NFL. I’m reminded of the 1990 game in Philadelphia between the Eagles and Redskins when nine different Washington Redskin players were carted off the field (including two quarterbacks). As I said, you just never know what’s going to happen in an NFL game. Speaking of the Redskins, they had a similar setup last year with Jason Campbell and Todd Collins being the only two QB’s on the roster. However at the time the Redskins also had Antwaan Randle-El, who was a quarterback in college. I’m sure that Harbaugh will designate someone as the “emergency quarterback,” however I think going into the season with only two QB’s is a bit of a calculated risk.

Safety Ed Reed has been placed on the PUP list, which will mean he’ll be eligible to play only after the first six games of the year. Billy Cundiff ended up winning the kicking battle, and will be the Ravens’ kicker going into week one (and presumably for the entire season). Keep in mind that the Ravens had issues in the kicking game almost all of last season, with Stephen Haushka getting cut in November after shanking a few attempts. Cundiff’s a bit of a journeyman and he’s been around the league a few times, so one has to hope that Cundiff will get the job done for the Ravens’ special teams this year.

The Ravens also traded linebacker Antwan Barnes to the Philadelphia Eagles for an undisclosed 2011 draft pick. Speaking for myself, I firmly believe in building a team through the draft, so if you have a guy like Barnes for whom you can get a draft pick, I’m all for it. Obviously you don’t want to give away the house so to speak (and I don’t think the Ravens did that), but a GM like Ozzie Newsome will be able to find a diamond-in-the-rough with a later round draft pick. Ultimately, here’s the list of final cuts made by the Ravens yesterday:

TE Davon Drew, CB Travis Fisher, DB K.J. Gerard, K Shayne Graham, WR Justin Harper, CB Chris Hawkins, DB Brad Jones, G Bryan Mattison, OLB Albert McClellan, T Joe Reitz, WR Eron Riley, QB Troy Smith, RB Curtis Steele, T Devin Tyler, WR Demetrius Williams

Ultimately like them or not, everyone else that was on the roster are your 2010 Baltimore Ravens. People can debate the roster moves all they want, but ultimately all of that will be a moot issue if the Ravens beat the Jets on September 13th.

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Ravens Announce Final 53* Players to Make Roster

Posted on 04 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

The Baltimore Ravens made multiple moves today to trim their roster from 75 active players to 53.

The team announced they have placed DT Kelly Talavou (knee), OT David Hale (back), OT Stefan Rodgers (ankle and OT Ramon Harewood (knee) on Injured Reserve, ending their 2010 season. The team also moved S Ed Reed from the Active PUP list to the Reserve PUP list. LB Antwan Barnes was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

The team also cut an additional 15 players: TE Davon Drew, S/CB K.J. Gerard, WR Justin Harper, CB Chris Hawkins, CB Brad Jones, OL Bryan Mattison, DE/LB Albert McClellan, OT Joe Reitz, WR Eron Riley, QB Troy Smith, RB Curtis Steele, OT Devin Tyler, WR Demetrius Williams, CB Travis Fisher and K Shayne Graham.

The team actually has 54 players currently on the roster, as CB Cary Williams does not count against the roster for the first two weeks while suspended. Here is the Ravens roster:

QB’s (2)
Joe Flacco
Marc Bulger

RB’s (4)
Ray Rice
Willis McGahee
Le’Ron McClain
Jalen Parmele

TE’s (3)
Todd Heap
Ed Dickson
Dennis Pitta

WR’s (6)
Anquan Boldin
Derrick Mason
Mark Clayton
Marcus Smith
David Reed
Donte’ Stallworth* (expected to miss 8 or more weeks)

OL (8)
Michael Oher
Ben Grubbs
Matt Birk
Marshal Yanda
Jared Gaither
Chris Chester
Tony Moll
Oniel Cousins

DL (9)
Haloti Ngata
Trevor Pryce
Cory Redding
Kelly Gregg
Terrence Cody
Brandon McKinney
Arthur Jones
Lamar Divens
Paul Kruger

LB’s (9)
Ray Lewis
Terrell Suggs
Jarret Johnson
Jameel McClain
Tavares Gooden
Dannell Ellerbe
Prescott Burgess
Jason Phillips
Edgar Jones

CB’s (6*)
Fabian Washington
Chris Carr
Josh Wilson
Lardarius Webb
Prince Miller
Cary Williams* (Does not count against roster)

S’s (4)
Dawan Landry
Tom Zbikowski
Haruki Nakamura
Ken Hamlin

ST’s (3)
Sam Koch
Morgan Cox
Billy Cundiff

The Ravens can add eight players to their practice squad Sunday.

Here are Ozzie Newsome’s thoughts on the decision to cut Troy Smith and carry just two quarterbacks: “The competition to make our team was very heated, and we decided to keep a position player rather than a third quarterback. We have a number of young guys who made our team who have tremendous upside, plus they can help us win this year. We’ve gone with two quarterbacks before (last time was 2006).”

Here are John Harbaugh’s thoughts on Billy Cundiff making the team ahead of Shayne Graham: “First, congratulations to Billy. He won a great competition, and he earned this spot. We’ve talked about this the entire preseason: Both Billy and Shayne rose to the occasion and performed at high levels. We know Shayne will kick in the league, but we feel very good about the decision to go with Billy.”

-G

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Ravens Cutdown Day Notes: What We Know Thus Far

Posted on 04 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

3:15pm update: I figured we should take a look at the roster, based on what we know/assume:

(Edit from GMC: When I say “DEFINITELY”, I am saying that either based on the fact that a player was never on the bubble to begin with, or based on news we have heard today.)

There are DEFINITELY 2 QB’s on the roster (Joe Flacco, Marc Bulger)
There are DEFINITELY 4 RB’s on the roster (Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, Le’Ron McClain, Jalen Parmele)
There are DEFINITELY 5 WR’s on the roster (Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, David Reed, Donte’ Stallworth)
There are DEFINITELY 3 TE’s on the roster (Todd Heap, Ed Dickson, Dennis Pitta)
There are DEFINITELY 9 OL’s on the roster (Michael Oher, Jared Gaither, Matt Birk, Ben Grubbs, Marshal Yanda, Chris Chester, Oniel Cousins, Tony Moll, Ramon Harewood)
There are DEFINITELY 8 DL’s on the roster (Haloti Ngata, Kelly Gregg, Trevor Pryce, Cory Redding, Terrence Cody, Brandon McKinney, Arthur Jones, Paul Kruger)
There are DEFINITELY 6 LB’s on the roster (Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Jarret Johnson, Jameel McClain, Dannell Ellerbe, Tavares Gooden)
There are DEFINITELY 4 CB’s on the roster (Fabian Washington, Chris Carr, Josh Wilson, Lardarius Webb)
There are DEFINITELY 3 S’s on the roster (Dawan Landry, Tom Zbikowski, Haruki Nakamura)
There are DEFINITELY 3 ST’s on the roster (Sam Koch, Morgan Cox, Billy Cundiff)

So as of right now, 47 of 53 roster spots are spoken for. Players on the list above could still be traded away (like Antwan Barnes was earlier today). But if not, six jobs would still be available. The bubble players who have not been accounted for include:

QB Troy Smith, WR Demetrius Williams, WR Marcus Smith, OT Joe Reitz, DT Lamar Divens, LB Prescott Burgess, LB Jason Phillips, S KJ Gerard, S Ken Hamlin.

The Ravens could also acquire other players before 6pm.

2:50pm update: A reminder that the Ravens will NOT be having formal media availability today with Ozzie Newsome or John Harbaugh. Instead, we will merely get an official release from the team at 6pm, and Harbaugh will be made available to the media again Monday.

Curtis Steele did not have any realistic chance of making the 53 man roster, but NFP confirms he indeed was cut. Like the others we mentioned below, he’s a very realistic practice squad candidate.

Oh-and Trice Capra lost 6-0, 6-0. What’s worse? CBS says she’s considering a scholarship offer from Duke. Apparently she doesn’t think there’s a future with Glenn Clark.

1:45pm update: National Football Post now reports that the Ravens have placed both OL David Hale (tailbone) and DT Kelly Talavou (ACL) on IR. Hale is not surprising at all, but Talavou is. Talavou was hurt in Thursday night’s loss to the St. Louis Rams; coach John Harbaugh declined to comment on the injury when asked by media assembled in Owings Mills Friday.

Hale’s injury likely paved the way for Ramon Harewood to make the roster. Chris Chester now defaults back to being the team’s backup center as well as the 3rd guard.

Talavou’s injury likely helped Arthur Jones make the roster. Still no word yet re: Lamar Divens; there’s an outside chance it could help him make the roster as well.

Also, RB/KR Jalen Parmele was probably never even “on the bubble”, but a NFL source tells me he’s safe. Now you know.

And one more thing-Baltimore’s Trice Capra lost the first set 6-0 to Maria Sharapova. I might start drinking early today.
————————–
It’s 1pm, and I’m overwhelmed by the amount of college football and U.S. Open tennis on TV today. That being said, there are a number of moves being made by the Baltimore Ravens today as they work towards the NFL deadline to have 53 players on their active roster. Here’s what we know thus far…

-National Football Post has reported that K Shayne Graham has been cut and K Billy Cundiff has won the kicking battle. There could be a number of factors (both football and non-football related) involved with this move. Football-wise, Cundiff had hung with Graham throughout Training Camp on field goals, and appeared to get more distance than Graham on kickoffs. Outside of football, there were some off-field concerns with Graham-and he almost certainly would have made more money than Cundiff.

-WNST.net first reported (follow us on Twitter @WNST) that rookie DT Arthur Jones had made the team. No word on other bubble players on the D-Line, including DT’s Kelly Talavou and Lamar Divens. DT Brandon McKinney was not believed to be on the bubble.

-NFP also reported earlier in the day that rookie OT Ramon Harewood had made the team. This was more than a bit surprising, but could reflect the injury issues the Ravens currently have on the O-Line. With OT Jared Gaither a question mark (back), OT Oniel Cousins (concussion) just getting back to the practice field Friday and OL David Hale (tailbone) still an IR possibility-the team may just well need the depth.

-The Ravens have announced they have traded LB Antwan Barnes to the Philadelphia Eagles for a pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. This is also surprising, as the Ravens do not have tremendous depth at OLB. This could be good news for one of the bubble guys at ILB (Jason Phillips, Prescott Burgess) or OLB bubble man Edgar Jones. It could also reflect a belief that Sergio Kindle could be able to return this season; he is currently in Charm City meeting with neurologists. NFP says Phillips and Burgess are “probably safe.”

-ProFootballTalk/NBC Sports first reported CB Travis Fisher had been cut by the Ravens; while NFP reported Prince Miller had also been cut. This likely means good news for CB KJ Gerard and could also be good news for S Ken Hamlin. The Ravens confirmed yesterday that S Ed Reed would open the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

-There have been rumors floating by ESPN and others regarding the status of QB Troy Smith-rumors have included Smith could be traded or released. There have also been rumors floating surrounding WR Marcus Smith, none have been confirmed. WR David Reed has made the team according to multiple sources.

-A number of other players have also been cut. WNST confirms WR Eron Riley was cut, while NFP reported TE Davon Drew, DE/LB Albert McClellan, TE Davon Drew, CB Chris Hawkins and OT Devin Tyler were cut. None were believed to be roster possibilities, but all could be practice squad options.

I will continue to update as updates are available.

-G

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Mocking The 53: One Final Preseason 53 Man Roster

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Mocking The 53: One Final Preseason 53 Man Roster

Posted on 04 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

The preseason is over and the Baltimore Ravens face a Saturday deadline to trim their roster to 53 players.

I said this after the loss to the St. Louis Rams was over, but it bears repeating. I have AGONIZED over putting together an only somewhat educated MOCK roster. I can’t IMAGINE how Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, Eric DeCosta and George Kokinis are handling it.

Here’s what I said the first time I made this list…

“Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and company will at least MOSTLY keep the 53 best players on the roster, I am going to try to identify the Top 53 players on the roster myself. It ISN’T a perfect science, and some of the players will have outside circumstances that will influence where they find themselves on the list. Similarly, the Ravens will make some decisions based on health, position needs, etc.

I’m putting “best overall players”, “most significant players”, and “position relevance” into my “Top 53″ rankings. This isn’t just a list of the 53 best players on the team. This is however a list-at this moment-of the 53 players I believe are most likely to make the roster.”

Here’s my final Mock 53…

1. QB Joe Flacco
flacco
2. RB Ray Rice
3. WR Anquan Boldin
4. DT Haloti Ngata
5. LB Ray Lewis
6. OT Michael Oher
7. WR Derrick Mason
8. LB Terrell Suggs
9. LB Jarret Johnson
10. G Ben Grubbs

No changes in this group. The Ravens hope they all remain in the Top 10 this season.

11. TE Todd Heap
12. DE Trevor Pryce
pryce
13. DL Cory Redding
14. CB Fabian Washington
15. FB Le’Ron McClain
16. OL Marshal Yanda
17. C Matt Birk
18. S Dawan Landry
19. S Tom Zbikowski
20. CB Josh Wilson

Former Maryland Terrapins CB Josh Wilson joins this group, as he’ll immediately be expected to make an impact at CB and possibly on Special Teams as well. He might not start against the New York Jets on September 13, but expect him to be on the field.

21. CB Chris Carr
22. P Sam Koch
koch
23. QB Marc Bulger
24. DT Kelly Gregg
25. S Haruki Nakamura
26. CB Lardarius Webb
27. TE Ed Dickson
28. WR Mark Clayton
29. OL Chris Chester
30. RB Willis McGahee

It’s a shame only one AFC punter can make the Pro Bowl, as Shane Lechler has sorta locked down the spot in recent years. Koch looks like he might be the type of player who could put together a season worthy of a trip to Hawaii.

31. OT Jared Gaither
gaither
32. DT Terrence Cody
33. LB Jameel McClain
34. LB Dannell Ellerbe
35. LB Tavares Gooden
36. LB Antwan Barnes
37. OL Tony Moll
38. RB Jalen Parmele
39. TE Dennis Pitta
40. DE Paul Kruger

Terrence Cody and Jared Gaither have both dropped, only because neither have been on the field. At this point, we can’t really expect either to be on the field at the Meadowlands for the Monday Night Football opener. When they get healthy, expect them both to climb.

41. DT Brandon McKinney
42. LS Morgan Cox
morgancox
43. DT Kelly Talavou
44. OT Oniel Cousins
45. K Shayne Graham
46. WR Demetrius Williams
47. QB Troy Smith
48. LB Prescott Burgess
49. WR Marcus Smith
50. S/CB KJ Gerard
51. DT Arthur Jones
52. WR David Reed
53. WR Donte’ Stallworth* (Will miss first 8 weeks of season with broken foot)

I think Shayne Graham’s experience gets him on the roster, but I’m 51-49 towards him at this point over Billy Cundiff. Demetrius Williams, Marcus Smith and David Reed are all on my roster-but seven receivers seems like an awful lot. Smith or Reed would be the odd man out if necessary. I think Troy Smith makes the roster. Not because teams HAVE to keep three quarterbacks, but because I think he’s a better player than Ken Hamlin, Travis Fisher or Prince Miller (to name a few). Prescott Burgess beats out Jason Phillips and Edgar Jones, Arthur Jones beats out Lamar Divens for the final spots on the roster in my book.

54. CB Cary Williams* (Suspended for 2 weeks, does not count against roster)

(CB Domonique Foxworth-IR)
(CB Marcus Paschal-IR)
(OL Daniel Sanders-IR)
(FB Mike McLaughlin-IR)
(LB Sergio Kindle-No contract/Expected PUP)
(LB Brendon Ayanbadejo-Starting season on Reserve PUP)
(RB Matt Lawrence-Starting season on Reserve PUP)
(S Ed Reed-Starting season on Reserve PUP)

edreed

55. K Billy Cundiff
56. OL David Hale (Possible IR)
davidhale
57. CB Travis Fisher
58. CB Prince Miller
59. LB Edgar Jones
60. LB Jason Phillips
61. S Ken Hamlin
62. DT Lamar Divens
63. OT Ramon Harewood (possible IR)
64. TE Davon Drew
65. OT Joe Reitz
66. WR Justin Harper
67. DE Albert McClellan
68. WR Eron Riley
69. RB Curtis Steele
70. OT Stefan Rodgers
71. OL Bryan Mattison
72. CB Brad Jones
73. CB Chris Hawkins
74. OT Devin Tyler

Here’s a stab at the 10 man practice squad:
Prince Miller,  Jason Phillips, Davon Drew, Joe Reitz, Eron Riley, Curtis Steele, Albert McClellan, Brad Jones, Stefan Rodgers, Bryan Mattison

Thoughts? Concerns? Comments?

We’ll know how it all shakes out shortly.

-G

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Morning Reaction 53 Man Roster

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Morning Reaction 53 Man Roster

Posted on 03 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Drew Forrester and I put together our own 53 man mock roster Friday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. Here’s a look position by position.

A reminder that we made this last based on the 53 players WE would keep if we were Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh. These are NOT necessarily the 53 players we believe the RAVENS will keep. Also, the roster TECHNICALLY has 54 players, as Cary Williams does not count against the roster for the first two weeks while suspended.

The players who are NOT in parenthesis are players we agreed were “slam dunk” on the roster. The players who are in parenthesis are players that were “bubble” guys or warranted some level of conversation.

The final players we cut were David Reed and Arthur Jones.

QB: (3)
Joe Flacco
Marc Bulger
(Troy Smith)

RB: (4)
Ray Rice
Willis McGahee
Le’Ron McClain
Jalen Parmele

TE: (3)
Todd Heap
Ed Dickson
Dennis Pitta

WR: (6)
Anquan Boldin
Derrick Mason
Mark Clayton
Donte’ Stallworth
(Demetrius Williams)
(Marcus Smith)

OL: (9)
Michael Oher
Jared Gaither
Matt Birk
Ben Grubbs
Marshal Yanda
Chris Chester
Tony Moll
Oniel Cousins
(David Hale)

DL: (8)
Haloti Ngata
Cory Redding
Trevor Pryce
Kelly Gregg
Terrence Cody
Paul Kruger
Brandon McKinney
(Kelly Talavou)

LB: (8)
Ray Lewis
Terrell Suggs
Jarret Johnson
Tavares Gooden
Jameel McClain
Antwan Barnes
Dannell Ellerbe
(Prescott Burgess)

CB: (4*)
Fabian Washington
Chris Carr
Josh Wilson
Lardarius Webb
Cary Williams* (makes team, but does not count against 53 man roster to start season)

S: (5)
Dawan Landry
Tom Zbikowski
Haruki Nakamura
(KJ Gerard)
(Ed Reed)

ST: (3)
Sam Koch
Morgan Cox
(Shayne Graham)

graham
(Photo courtesy of SB Nation/BaltimoreBeatdown.com)

If you want to know how we made these conclusions, you can hear our entire segment NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net!

-G

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Not A Great Night in St. Louis For Ravens on Bubble

Posted on 03 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

I’m going to save my final thoughts on the Ravens’ upcoming roster cuts for Friday, but I figured I’d share some thoughts from the Baltimore Ravens’ 27-21 loss to the St. Louis Rams Thursday night before I did.

Plenty of jobs were considered to be “on the line” Thursday night, but not a whole lot of them appeared to be locked up by those on the Ravens’ bubble. I’m only going to consider the players that were at least CLOSE to the bubble coming in. With no offense to the likes of Curtis Steele and Chris Hawkins, they’re not really even worth discussing.

Looking position by position at the performance of different players…

Troy Smith, QB: Troy’s numbers were as poor as his decision making at times. He finished 18-38 for 237 yards and 2 picks. He also ran for a pair of scores. If we’re being fair, the O-Line Troy played in front of was unthinkably bad and Cam Cameron didn’t really experiment too much with play-calling.
Davon Drew, TE: Drew finished the game with 2 catches for 23 yards, but was probably too far off the bubble for anything he did to matter all that much.
Demetrius Williams, WR: Williams made two grabs for 38 yards, one of which his size made a difference for. With Donte’ Stallworth hurt, I felt like Williams was much safer on the bubble-but he gave a solid performance especially considering his ankle injury.
Marcus Smith, WR: He was targeted twice but didn’t come down with a catch. He’s had a solid preseason, but nothing happened Thursday night to help him clinch a spot on the roster.
David Reed, WR: Reed had a very good night Thursday. He made three catches for 65 yards and averaged 34.5 yards on four kick returns. There might not be a kick return job available, but his versatility could help him make the roster.
Ramon Haredwood, OT and Joe Reitz, OT:  I’m going to try to be fair to both of these guys here. The entire offensive line was terrible Thursday night, and all were playing out of position. The injuries to Jared Gaither, Oniel Cousins and David Hale may force the Ravens to keep an extra O-Lineman, but nothing they saw Thursday night will help them make that decision. Harewood was awful and made bad decisions to boot. Reitz played out of position and looked lost at times.
Brandon McKinney, DT: When he was on the field, McKinney looked to be in the right place. If he really was on the bubble he probably isn’t any more.
Kelly Talavou, DT: The entire first unit on the field struggled, and the D-Line didn’t help to get in the backfield and pressure Sam Bradford. That being said, they weren’t particularly gauged up the middle either. Talavou is probably safe on the roster.
Arthur Jones, DT and Lamar Divens, DT: Neither Jones not Divens were particularly bad Thursday night, but if either were on a particular side of the bubble before the game they probably stayed there.
Jason Phillips, LB and Prescott Burgess, LB: Jason Phillips finished the game with a team high 9 tackles. Unfortunately, what stuck out from his performance was his complete inability to cover the pass. I doubt anyone stood to benefit more from Phillips’ performance than Burgess-who played sparingly but whose experience may be enough to get him on the roster.
Edgar Jones, OLB: It looked like Edgar Jones played with a real sense of urgency Thursday night. His 3 tackles included a sack and another TFL. I’m not sure Jones can be counted on as a pass rusher, but his versatility could be enough for John Harbaugh and Greg Mattison to choose to keep him around.
Travis Fisher, CB and Prince Miller, CB: It’s hard to figure out who was bad here and who was worse. Neither looks like a realistic option to be a NFL CB at the moment, and Miller compounded the issue by muffing a punt-which nearly lead to a Rams touchdown.
Ken Hamlin, S and KJ Gerard, S: Neither player really made much of a positive impact Thursday night, but that was a common theme. Gerard did end up recovering Prince Miller’s muff in the endzone, but I don’t think that will make much of a difference. If Ed Reed is healthy to start the season (that’s a big “if”), I don’t think either will end up on the roster.
Shayne Graham, K and Billy Cundiff, K: No field goal attempts, but the duo combined to make all 3 extra point attempts. Cundiff was a little bit better on kickoffs, which could end up helping him.

I’m agonizing over a MOCK roster. I can’t imagine what’s going on in the minds of Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and George Kokinis right now.

It should be an interesting weekend-or at least much more interesting than the football game Thursday night.

-G

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Purple Haze Chat 8pm Tonight!

Posted on 02 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

It might not look like NFL football, but technically it will be. The Baltimore Ravens visit the St. Louis Rams tonight at Edward Jones Dome, kickoff is at 8pm. We chose to pass on the St. Louis trip, mostly because the Ravens are going to choose to pass on playing the majority of their starters in tonight’s game.

With that being said, the game can be seen tonight on WBAL11, and I will be following along from my couch in Rosedale. Other WNST and WNST.net personalities will be joining me in tonight’s “Purple Haze” chat, which begins at 8pm and you can join HERE. I’m sure there will be Orioles discussion, as well as college football and U.S. Open talk-at least if I have my way.

Troy Smith is expected to start at QB for the Ravens and play all four quarters. The Rams are expected to start rookie QB Sam Bradford and have their starters in the game for about 15 snaps. Smith is one of many Ravens players fighting for a roster spot as Saturday’s deadline for NFL teams to get to 53 players looms. Other players squarely on the bubble include WR’s Demetrius Williams, David Reed and Marcus Smith, TE Davon Drew, OL David Hale, OT’s Ramon Harewood and Joe Reitz, DT’s Kelly Talavou, Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens; LB’s Jason Phillips, Edgar Jones and Prescott Burgess; CB’s Travis Fisher and Prince Miller and S’s Ken Hamlin and KJ Gerard. Kickers Billy Cundiff and Shayne Graham are still in a heated battle for a roster spot as well.

The Rams have announced that the following players will be deactivated tonight:

QB AJ Feeley
RB Steven Jackson
WR Laurent Robinson
DE James Hall
LB Na’il Diggs
S James Butler

The Rams have announced that Kenneth Darby will start for Jackson, Keenan Burton will start for Robinson, David Vobora for Diggs. Danny Amendola will start for Donnie Avery, who the team placed on IR earlier in the week.

The Ravens have announced (via the Twitter account of their own Mike Duffy) that there will not be any inactives announced tonight. However, it is safe to expect that almost all starters as well as other injured players will not play tonight.

Look forward to chatting with you at 8pm!

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 02 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a (semi) Happy Thursday for me, because the bad news is that Andy Roddick suffered his annual collapse last night at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows. My alcohol consumption during the match was at an all-time high. As soon as Tipsarevic went up 0-40 on A-Rod’s serve to close the 2nd I knew something bad was happening.

BUT…it isn’t all bad news. For example, if you happened to poke over to MASN2 last night, you might have seen something more awesome than even WWE can offer…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKZk88o4ppw[/youtube]

For the record, Gaby Sanchez’s clothesline > Edge’s spear.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Orioles got to Jon Lester early, but Red Sox rallied to win at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

When the Orioles scored four runs in the first inning against Jon Lester, I thought to myself (and asked on via Twitter @WNST) if anyone had a weather report for hell. I was assuming freezing rain myself.

Sadly, Jon Lester turned back into Jon Lester at some point, and the Orioles bullpen that has been very good as of late turned back into the Orioles bullpen that wasn’t even a little bit good for stretches this season. Mark Hendrickson and Alfredo Simon were about as good as…Mark Hendrickson and Alfredo Simon.

(Edit from GMC: That’s not really fair. Mark Hendrickson was good for the vast majority of the season. But that doesn’t really help my point, so I won’t mention it.)

Remember August? August was really good for the Orioles. Maybe if we can find a Hot Tub Time Machine we could go back to then…

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

The good? Felix Pie had a pair of doubles and Adam Jones had a double, 2 RBI and scored a run. Also, Ty Wigginton went 2-3, scoring a run and driving in another.

The bad? While Jake Arrieta gave up just 3 earned runs on 6 hits and didn’t walk anyone, he was also pulled after 5 innings after having already thrown 95 pitches.

You don’t want to look at the numbers. Instead, check out Hope Dworaczyk. This will be much more fun. Thanks, The Smoking Jacket!

hoped

3. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says O’s called up Brandon Snyder, Nolan Reimold, Robert Andino

And for some reason, Reimold was in the lineup last night facing Jon Lester. Luke Scott was not.

(Edit from GMC: I know there was a “reason”. Spare me.)

Word is that Chris Tillman, Rick VandenHurk and Troy Patton are going to follow this group. If this doesn’t sell tickets for Sunday afternoon against the Rays, I’m not sure what will. In fact, I’m pretty sure Rick VandenHurk bobblehead night will be September 15th.

It will be good to see these guys on the field a little bit for the next few weeks, at least for as much as I’ll actually be watching. My guess is that I won’t really be watching that much. I’ve got tennis for the next 10 days and college football starts tonight. You really think I’m going to bother with baseball?

4. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Birds playing games in September that ‘almost’ matter

I don’t think “almost” is an appropriate term here. I think the more appropriate term is “sorta.”

The fact is, the Orioles are 34 games behind the Yankees in the AL East. They’re not even in the REALM of “almost.”

But there are some things about this September that make it “sorta” meaningful. Extending a good month into a strong close to the season helps in changing the culture in Charm City. Having a good month and then tanking again anyway makes fans think to themselves “same old Orioles.”

It’s “sorta” meaningful. The games are completely irrelevant in terms of baseball, but the end of the season could help in trying to cultivate a dead baseball environment in this area.

To REALLY change the baseball environment in this town, a team would have to win THROUGHOUT the season. Not just for a month-or even two.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Joel Guzman crushed 32nd home run for Bowie Baysox in win over Altoona Curve on farm

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

-The Birds and BoSox wrap their 3 game series with a rubber match tonight at OPACY. Brad Bergesen faces Daisuke Matsuzaka, first pitch is at 7:05pm and the game can be seen on MASN.

-Adam Jones was forced to leave last night’s game with back pain still stemming from being hit by a Gavin Floyd pitch last week. It still doesn’t appear to be a long-term concern, but it’s still an issue a week removed.

-Multiple reports (including MLB.com) say David Hernandez is about a week or so away from returning. That’s good news. But you already knew that.

6. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens placed Mike McLaughlin on IR to make room for Josh Wilson on roster

And if he hadn’t ended up on IR, the practice squad would have been the other possible destination for McLaughlin. He was an undrafted LB out of Boston College who the Ravens decided to move to FB-which he hadn’t played since high school. He was AT BEST a longshot to make the roster, but will buy himself some time to continue developing over the next year now that he’s on IR.

Of course, if the Ravens were going to make room on the roster for someone-I sorta wish it had been Izabel Goulart. Thanks, Guyism!

izabelg

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Ravens’ game tonight big for bubble guys like Prince Miller, Demetrius Williams, David Reed

I will admit that I’d still be a bit surprised just to see Demetrius Willliams on the field tonight. I know he returned to practice this week and is sort of a “bubble” guy, but it looks more and more like he almost HAS to make the roster-and there doesn’t seem to be anything smart about playing a roster guy with a bad ankle on a terrible carpet.

Prince Miller’s road to the roster got much longer when the Ravens acquired Josh Wilson. Not only does Wilson give the Ravens necessary depth at CB, but he could free up Chris Carr to return punts. Miller will get the chance tonight, but Carr could very well end up being the guy in the regular season. Reed could be in trouble as well-as it looks like he’s behind both Williams and Marcus Smith on the depth chart.

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Troy Smith fighting for final roster spot

And you will see PLENTY of the former Heisman Trophy winner tonight. As I’ve said throughout the week on AM1570, expect 4 quarters of Smith tonight-similar to how John Beck went 4 quarters against the Atlanta Falcons last year.

Before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-The Ravens and St. Louis Rams get together at Edward Jones Dome tonight. Kickoff is at 8pm and the game can be seen live on WBAL11 locally. I’ll be joining Thyrl Nelson at 12:30 pm on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” and Rex Snider at 4:30 on “The Afternoon Drive” to preview the game.

-Did you miss Rams color analyst (and former Super Bowl champion) D’Marco Farr with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Some other stuff you can hear in the Audio Vault includes…

  • Brian Billick (Former Ravens coach and WNST part owner)-who joined Drew this morning to discuss his “man crush” on Aaron Rodgers (didn’t he have a man crush on another QB from Cal?) and all things NFL
  • Mark Mravich (SI NFL Editor)-who discussed the SI NFL Preview Issue with Drew, including Peter King’s choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers to reach the Super Bowl
  • Paul Azinger (former PGA Championship winner)-who discusses his new book “Cracking the Code” with Drew-a book about being the captain of the 2008 Ryder Cup winning US team
  • Peter Schrager (FoxSports.com)-who joined Drew to preview College Football season, which starts tonight.

It’s all in the Audio Vault. Get there today, and as always-YOU’RE WELCOME!

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens picks Navy to beat Maryland 31-24 Monday at M&T Bank Stadium

I haven’t decided exactly what my pick will be just yet (I’ll announce it tomorrow), but my guess is that I’ll end up picking the Mids by at least 10 points myself.

Speaking of the number 10, here’s a picture of Arianny Celeste from Maxim via NextRound.net….

celeste

10. TowsonTigers.com previews tonight’s season opener at Indiana Hoosiers

If this was Villanova or another good CAA team, the conference would have a real chance to score a major upset. However, it is not-so I’ll take IU at about a 31-6 clip.

The game can be seen live on the Big Ten Network. Matt Devlin, Derek Rackley and Stacy Paetz are on the call.

And finally, I leave you with this.

Via Deadspin, here’s a photo of Joakim Noah golfing. That’s all you need to know.

joakim

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Mocking The 53: A Look at Ravens Roster With One Preseason Game Left

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Mocking The 53: A Look at Ravens Roster With One Preseason Game Left

Posted on 31 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Following a convincing win over the New York Giants Saturday night at M&T Bank Stadium, the Baltimore Ravens have just one more preseason contest to solve the final spots on their 53 man roster.

They’ll play the St. Louis Rams Thursday night at Edward Jones Dome, and a number of players will be hoping it isn’t the final time they don the purple  & black. The team will be forced to trim the roster to 53 players this Saturday.

There have been a few changes to the roster since my last “Mocking the 53″ update; with CB Doug Dutch cut and both OL Daniel Sanders and CB Marcus Paschal placed on IR. I am also going to move Cary Williams OFF the 53 (he will receive an asterisk following the 53) since he will be roster exempt during the two weeks he’s suspended. He’s on the roster, but the cuts Saturday won’t reflect that. Finally, Donte’ Stallworth moves back to the 53rd spot on the roster. He’s not the 53rd best player on the team, but since he can’t participate I won’t continue to lift him.

As a reminder of my overall philosophy in selecting these players, here is the explanation I posted before my initial mock roster…

“Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and company will at least MOSTLY keep the 53 best players on the roster, I am going to try to identify the Top 53 players on the roster myself. It ISN’T a perfect science, and some of the players will have outside circumstances that will influence where they find themselves on the list. Similarly, the Ravens will make some decisions based on health, position needs, etc.

I’m putting “best overall players”, “most significant players”, and “position relevance” into my “Top 53″ rankings. This isn’t just a list of the 53 best players on the team. This is however a list-at this moment-of the 53 players I believe are most likely to make the roster.”

With that in mind, here’s how I see the Top 53 shaping up…

(Thanks to The Sun and BaltimoreRavens.com for photos.)

1. QB Joe Flacco
2. RB Ray Rice
3. WR Anquan Boldin
4. DT Haloti Ngata
5. LB Ray Lewis
6. OT Michael Oher
7. WR Derrick Mason
8. LB Terrell Suggs
9. LB Jarret Johnson
10. G Ben Grubbs
grubbs

Only a few small changes to the Top 10, as I dropped Michael Oher a couple of spots. The 2nd year tackle from Ole Miss is still VERY important to this football team, and I wouldn’t be stunned at all if his 2nd season ended in a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. But he HAS struggled during the preseason, and this is simply a reflection of that. Otherwise, the top players on the team remain exactly the same.

11. TE Todd Heap
12. DE Trevor Pryce
13. DL Cory Redding
14. CB Fabian Washington
15. FB Le’Ron McClain
16. OL Marshal Yanda
17. C Matt Birk
birk
18. S Dawan Landry
19. DT Terrence Cody
20. S Tom Zbikowski

Just a couple of tweeks in this group as well. Todd Heap moves up a couple spots after his sensational performance Saturday night against the G-Men. On the flip side, Terrence Cody falls a few spots due to the knee injury that forced him to miss Saturday night and has forced him to miss about a week’s worth of practice. I still think “Mount Cody” is going to end up being VERY good, but he hasn’t been very good recently.

21. CB Chris Carr
22. P Sam Koch
23. QB Marc Bulger
24. DT Kelly Gregg
gregg
25. S Haruki Nakamura
26. CB Lardarius Webb
27. TE Ed Dickson
28. WR Mark Clayton
29. OL Chris Chester
30. OT Jared Gaither

A few movers in this group as well, including a significant move from Sam Koch. He’s looking like a real weapon for this team. His performance against the Washington Redskins would have garnered him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors if it had happened during the regular season, and he was exceptional again Saturday night against the Giants. He’s been very impressive to watch both during Training Camp practices at McDaniel College in Westminster and in practices since then at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills.

Jared Gaither falls a few spots as he continues to battle a back injury. At this point, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be on the field when the Ravens play the New York Jets Sept. 13 in East Rutherford to open the season. Kelly Gregg moves up a few spots, as his value to the team is heightened with Terrence Cody hurt.

31. RB Willis McGahee
32. LB Jameel McClain
33. LB Dannell Ellerbe
34. LB Tavares Gooden
35. LB Antwan Barnes
36. OL Tony Moll
moll
37. RB Jalen Parmele
38. TE Dennis Pitta
39. DE Paul Kruger
40. DT Brandon McKinney

And after the first 30 players on the roster, EVERYTHING IS TOUGH TO FIGURE OUT! Players 31-40 on this list will all make the roster, but they’ll likely fluctuate position as the season goes on.

In the never-ending saga of “As the JACK LB Turns”, the JACK LB position is turning. Sorta. Harbs said Monday that analysts shouldn’t look too much into the fact that Jameel McClain has started all three preseason games, as all three backers are likely to play roughly the same number of snaps. To some extent, I believe him. In three linebackers, the Ravens have about one complete linebacker. If only they could figure out a way to mold the three together. McClain stays ahead of the others due to the fact that he HAS been starting, but the separation he found from the others early in camp is pretty much non-existent at this point.

Tony Moll and Jalen Parmele are also risers in this group. Parmele because his job as kick returner solidifies his level of importance to the team. Moll because with Gaither and Cousins sidelined, he’s stepped in and held down the RT position admirably. In fact, he’s likely moved ahead of Cousins on the depth chart regardless of health. Should Gaither not be able to go on Monday Night Football to open the season, I would expect Moll to start regardless of health.

41. LS Morgan Cox
42. DT Kelly Talavou
43. OT Oniel Cousins
44. QB Troy Smith
45. CB Travis Fisher
46. S Ken Hamlin
47. K Shayne Graham
48. OL David Hale
49. WR Demetrius Williams
50. WR Marcus Smith
marcussmith
51. LB Jason Phillips
52. CB Prince Miller
53. WR Donte’ Stallworth*

Somewhere in this group my confidence level starts to decline a bit. I’m just not exactly sure where it is. Here’s what we know from 41-53.

At 41, Morgan Cox is the Long Snapper, he’s on the team.
At 42, Kelly Talavou appears to be ahead of Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens and comfortably on the roster. He made the roster last year, and the team has maintained faith in him.
At 43, Oniel Cousins is absolutely making the roster as long as he’s healthy. It seems as though he will be-but that’s no guarantee.
At 44, Troy Smith is the team’s 3rd quarterback. The only way he’d not be part of the 53 is if the team were to suddenly find a trade partner or decide for some reason that they don’t need to keep a 3rd quarterback. I find both to be unlikely.
At 45, Travis Fisher is on the team for now. I get the feeling that might not be the case when Cary Williams comes back.
At 46, Ken Hamlin looks like he’s safe until Ed Reed comes back. Of course, there’s a chance that will happen sooner than we thought.
At 47, I still believe Shayne Graham will win the kicking competition. However, I’ve moved him back significantly because there’s almost no difference between he and Billy Cundiff right now. If Cundiff wins, I can’t be surprised anymore. The organization had privately given the job to Graham weeks ago, but there are some factors that might have that job slipping from his grasp.
At 48, David Hale seems safe as long as he’s healthy. That’s a real question mark right now as he battles a tailbone injury. Hale had played well in Camp, and it looked like his improvement had been significant over 12 months.
At 49, Demetrius Williams moves back on the roster. The Ravens will likely want to keep a 4th receiver active with Stallworth hurt, and Williams has more experience than the others on the roster. His size also separates him from the others.
At 50, Marcus Smith is an outstanding Special Teams player. Given some of the players Jerry Rosburg’s unit is missing (including Brendon Ayanbadejo), his inclusion in the Final 53 would make almost too much sense.
At 51, I’m keeping Jason Phillips on the roster for now. Some would argue Prescott Burgess should have his spot, and he’ll have the chance to move ahead.
At 52, Donte’ Stallworth’s injury helps Prince Miller a lot. With Tom Zbikowski starting and Mark Clayton now a slot receiver (who is hurt), it is fair to expect Miller get the bulk of action at punt return this week. That could be enough to lock down a job.
At 53, Donte’ Stallworth holds a roster spot.

54. CB Cary Williams*
carywilliams
(CB Domonique Foxworth-IR)
(CB Marcus Paschal-IR)
(OL Daniel Sanders-IR)
(S Ed Reed-Potential PUP)
(LB Sergio Kindle-Expected PUP)
(LB Brendon Ayanbadejo-Starting season on Reserve PUP)
(RB Matt Lawrence-Starting season on Reserve PUP)

With Ed Reed now hanging around the facility in Owings Mills, those rumblings that he’ll avoid the PUP list will get louder. With Ed, it’s hard to ever really know. Otherwise, we can be sure Brendon Ayanbadejo will start the season on PUP-and it’s safe to assume that Matt Lawrence will be PUP at best.

55. K Billy Cundiff
56. LB Prescott Burgess
57. WR David Reed
58. LB Edgar Jones
59. DT Arthur Jones
jones
60. DT Lamar Divens
61. OT Ramon Harewood
62. S/CB KJ Gerard
63. TE Davon Drew
64. OT Joe Reitz

Everyone between 55-64 has at least a CHANCE to make the final 53.

At 55, Billy Cundiff is neck and neck with Shayne Graham in the kicking competition. One of them will win.
At 56, Prescott Burgess can win a spot on the roster over the next week. His abilities on Special Teams will help him.
At 57, David Reed has played well recently-but hasn’t been outstanding for all of Camp. He’s not far from the roster, but the next week will be crucial for him.
At 58, Edgar Jones has plenty of versatility-but he hasn’t shown himself to be an exceptional OLB. Despite Sergio Kindle’s injury, he doesn’t look like he’s quite made the team yet.
At 59, Arthur Jones has a ton of upside. He also finds himself the victim of a numbers game. The Ravens might be concerned about exposing him, but it seems like he’s better suited for the practice squad.
At 60, Lamar Divens is in a very similar situation as Arthur Jones. The Ravens would hate to give up on a player that “looks like a Raven” the way Divens does, but he might not fit on the roster right now.
At 61, Ramon Harewood still looks like a very qualified candidate for IR given his knee issue just after the NFL Draft. Injuries to Gaither and Cousins could make him a roster option.
At 62, KJ Gerard has REALLY been hurt by not being on the field for stretches this preseason. The Ravens need secondary help, and he could provide it if he could stay healthy. This is a big week for him.
At 63, Davon Drew has played really well this summer. Unfortunately, there just doesn’t appear to be room for a 4th Tight End on the roster.
At 64, Joe Reitz could end up making the roster given the same injuries to Gaither and Cousins. But if I was a betting man, my money wouldn’t be on him.

65. WR Justin Harper
66. FB Mike McLaughlin
67. WR Eron Riley
riley
68. DE Albert McClellan
69. RB Curtis Steele
70. OL Bryan Mattison
71. OT Stefan Rodgers
72. CB Brad Jones
73. CB Chris Hawkins
74. OT Devin Tyler

Harper and Riley really offer something to a practice squad given their size. When the Ravens are forced to go up against taller receivers, it will help to have taller receivers to match up against in practice. Others on this list look like solid practice squad options as well-of which Curtis Steele could be one of them.

Questions? Concerns? Song requests? Let me know. I’ll post my final Mocking The 53 Friday.

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 30 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: College Football-Towson @ Indiana (Thursday 7:30pm from Bloomington, Ind. live on Big Ten Network), Bowie State @ Morgan State (Saturday 6pm Hughes Stadium); Auto Racing: NASCAR Emory Healthcare 500 (Sunday 7:30pm from Atlanta live on ESPN), IndyCar Series Kentucky 300 (Saturday 8pm from Sparta, Kentucky live on VERSUS); Soccer: U.S. Open Cup-Columbus Crew @ DC United (Wednesday 7:30pm RFK Stadium), MLS-Columbus Crew @ DC United (Saturday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on Fox Soccer Channel)

10. Budweiser Superfest feat. Anthony Hamilton (Tuesday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion), The O’Jays & Ron Isley (Friday 7pm Pier Six Pavilion), REO Speedwagon & Pat Benatar (Saturday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Disturbed & Avenged Sevenfold (Tuesday 4pm Jiffy Lube Live), Jimmy Buffett (Thursday & Saturday 8pm Jiffy Lube Live); Tantric & Adema (Tuesday 7:30pm Bourbon Street); Cowboy Mouth (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); NAS & Damien Marley (Tuesday 8pm Sonar), 30 Seconds to Mars (Wednesday 7pm Sonar); Bret Michaels (Wednesday 8pm Maryland State Fair), Justin Bieber (Sunday 7pm Maryland State Fair); Hot Hot Heat (Saturday 9pm Ottobar)

This list is MUCH better than it probably looks like at first. I won’t make it to Buffett Thursday night because the Ravens are playing. If I was there, I’d probably just keep yelling “SOUTHERN CROSS!!!!!!!!!!!!” anyway….

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

I used to do radio broadcasts for the Arizona Rattlers during my time in Phoenix; and they once brought Tantric by during the first half. They didn’t leave at any point during the game. I’m pretty sure there were both hookers AND blow….

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

I’m not really a big Nas fan, but “One Mic” is one of the greatest songs in hip-hop history. Note-lyrics NSFW…unless of course you work at Jo-Ann Fabrics. We all know the deal there…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQbCC8S-ErE[/youtube]

I can’t freaking STAND Jared Leto, but damnit if “Kings and Queens” isn’t amongst the Top 10 songs of 2010…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMX3qv1N37s[/youtube]

9. Glenn Clark’s Birthday (Monday)

I don’t usually like to make this all about me, but I figured I could offer a plea here. I rarely ask you all for anything, but I would REALLY like this Robert McClintock piece for my birthday this year. Just consider it an investment on future brilliant material from “The Tradition”…

chips

8. Golf: PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs-Deutsche Bank Championship (Friday & Saturday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Sunday 3pm Monday 2pm live on NBC. All golf from Norton, Massachusetts), Champions Tour Home Care & Hospice First Tee Open at Pebble Beach (Friday & Saturday 6:30pm, Sunday 7pm from Monterey, CA live on Golf Channel)

Some dude named Matt Kuchar won the first event in the playoffs. I’m reasonably certain we were in Mrs. Lutz-Itzoe’s 3rd grade class at Chapel Hill Elementary School together.

Seriously, can’t Tiger Woods just ACTUALLY be “back” one of these weeks?!?!?!

I’m reasonably certain this guy is gonna end up winning the 2nd playoff event in Boston…

rex

7. Pro Wrestling: WWE Raw (Monday 9pm from Verizon Center live on USA Network); TNA “No Surrender” (Sunday 8pm from Orlando live on Pay-Per-View)

As a veteran of plenty of live WWE, WWF and WCW events, there are a few things you need to know before you head to the arena:

1-If you bring a sign, make it funny. If it just says “The Champ is Here” because you’re a John Cena fan-you had better be 12 years old. If you’re closer to my age and want to bring a sign, it better be something creative-like Sheamus’ face with the words “You Can’t See Me.” You see, it’s clever because Sheamus is an albino and it uses another of John Cena’s catch phrases. Taking notes?

2-Bringing your own championship belt might seem lame-but it isn’t. Bring yours, and carry it over your shoulder. Wear sunglasses too. Championship belts around the waist-again-are for kids.

3-I liked Stone Cold Steve Austin as much as anyone. But chanting “What?” after everything that is said is grounds for the guy behind you to “accidentally” spill two beers on you. Don’t be lame.

4-Remind your kids they shouldn’t do this type of stuff at home. Unless of course they want to be like Ric Flair. In which case, let them do whatever the hell they please…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iy-LQH8N6Ug[/youtube]

6. Basketball: FIBA World Championships-Team USA vs. Iran (Wednesday 12pm live on ESPN), Tunisia vs. Team USA (Thursday 9:30am live on ESPN2; both games from Istanbul) Round of 16 games (Saturday-Monday from Istanbul live on ESPN & ESPN3.com)

Is Tunisia where the Tasmanian Devil is from?!?!?

I’m really torn on this whole Team USA hoops thing. I mean-on one side, I love America. I’m much like Glenn Beck in that way. We’re a couple of patriots. Maybe it’s a name thing. But like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, I love this country. Not like that Barack Obama fella-I heard he isn’t even FROM this country!

On the flip side of patriotism, I completely despise everything about Coach K. Is there anything LESS American than a Duke coach coaching our boys in Europe? We might as well scribble out a map for terrorists that says “your target is here.”

Oh and another thing. I was going to attend the World Championships this year, but couldn’t find Istanbul on a map. All of my and Craig Ferguson’s maps said “Constantinople”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4phHwSSing[/youtube]

5. High School Football: Joppatowne @ Perry Hall (Friday 7pm), Glen Burnie @ South River (Friday 6:30pm)

YEEEESSSSS!!!!! MARINERS ARE GOING DOWN!!!!!!!!!!! ROLL GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look, I’m sure there are plenty of other important games this weekend (the first full weekend of High School action here in the Old Line State) involving teams like Calvert Hall, Gilman, Boys Latin, Bel Air, Fallston, Parkville, Dulaney, etc. etc. etc.; but don’t bother me with those. I went to PHHS, and ol’ Drew Forrester went to Glen Burnie-so there are only two teams that I root for. Perry Hall…and whoever is playing the Gophers.

This week, there’s NO ONE I love more than South River! Go you….Seahawks, go!

That’s how I roll.

4. Tennis: U.S. Open (Tuesday-Friday 11am live on Tennis Channel 1pm live on ESPN2, Saturday-Monday 11am live on CBS 7pm live on Tennis Channel. All tennis from New York)

And with that in mind, don’t even bother asking me if I can do something for the next 14 days/nights. You already know the answer.

Need an excuse to watch? Well, Caroline Wozniacki IS the top seeded woman at Flushing Meadows…

wozniacki

3. Maryland State Fair (Tuesday-Monday Timonium Fairgrounds)

The new young lady in my life…we call her “Boomer Sooner”…tells me that at the Texas State Fair, they have introduced Deep Fried BEER this year. I’ll admit there was a bit of jealousy inside me, but I then reminded her that we have something even BETTER in Maryland…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Oy_cPF950s[/youtube]

I will be there early evening Friday. I’ll be wearing the black Under Armour hat. It’s a dollar a race. You KNOW you can’t afford to miss this.

2. Baltimore Ravens @ St. Louis Rams (Thursday 8pm from St. Louis live on WBAL11)

Speaking of “Boomer Sooner”, I immediately have more interest in a 4th preseason game than I EVER should. You see, as a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, ol’ Boomer Sooner has adopted the Rams as her second team-thanks to her undying affection for QB Sam Bradford. The whole thing just disgusts me.

But Sam Bradford won’t be the only Heisman Trophy winner on the field Friday night. That’s right, we’ve got one of our own here in Charm City….

troysmith

Attention Troy Smith: I’ve never asked you for anything before. You’ve always lived up to those expectations. Please don’t change now. The city needs you. And by the city, I mean “me.” And I really only need you for one night, but don’t get caught up in semantics. Hugs and kisses. -G

1. College Football: Maryland vs. Navy (Monday 4pm from M&T Bank Stadium live on ESPN); Virginia Tech vs. Boise State (Monday 8pm from FedEx Field live on ESPN)

Not only is Monday my birthday-but it is also Labor Day. And I can think of no way better to honor the working men and women of American than to have our Terrapins absolutely DESTROY the men who will go on to serve our country during times of unrest in the “Crab Bowl Classic” there at “The Bank.”

In all seriousness, there are only a few things I’m hoping for in Monday’s game. 1-Awesome Spirit videos from the Midshipmen like this one…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4breGPkzS0[/youtube]

2-An atmosphere and game so great that either a Terps player (or a Mids player) ends up finding himself in folklore the way that one Lance Ball has…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wR6737o-cko[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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