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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 15 August 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-Minnesota Lynx @ Washington Mystics (Thursday 7pm Verizon Center), Chicago Sky @ Washington Mystics (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on NBA TV), Washington Mystics @ Indiana Fever (Sunday 6pm from Indianapolis live on NBA TV); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Demetrius Andrade vs. Grady Brewer (Friday 9pm from Hammond, IN live on ESPN2); Canadian Football League: Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Toronto Argonauts (Thursday 7:30pm from Toronto live on NFL Network)

10. Martin Lawrence (Sunday 7pm 1st Mariner Arena); American Idols Live (Friday 7pm Verizon Center); Ke$ha (Sunday 7:30pm Patriot Center); Slightly Stoopid (Wednesday 5:30pm Pier Six Pavilion), Bill Cosby (Saturday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion), Gipsy Kings (Sunday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Bob Dylan and his Band (Tuesday 6pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Skullcandy Identity feat. Pretty Lights (Thursday 1pm Jiffy Lube Live), Kid Rock/Sheryl Crow (Monday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Beach Boys (Sunday 3pm Wolf Trap); 10,000 Maniacs (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); “Hot August Blues” feat. Tedeschi Trucks Band & Robert Randolph (Saturday 12pm Oregon Ridge); Lynyrd Skynyrd/Doobie Brothers (Saturday 7pm Aberdeen Proving Ground)

I’m sung the praises of Robert Randolph in this blog so many times it’s almost overkill for me to go back to the well.

You know they call me “Dr. Overkill” in some circles…

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

I saw the Beach Boys last year at Pier Six. There was a thought process that it might be a bit hokey, but I was quickly reminded that there was no way in hell songs like this could EVER be hokey…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6Uc_Gi7gdM[/youtube]

I’m well aware that Michael McDonald isn’t in the band anymore. That being said, I’d still be in on this…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDWGKQcQ8zw[/youtube]

I took my dad to see Bob Dylan years ago at American University in DC (he’s an alum). I didn’t understand much, but I’m pretty sure it was good. Just a shame he couldn’t bring Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers on tour with him…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPYvz9QEqUI[/youtube]

9. Baltimore Comic-Con (Saturday & Sunday Baltimore Convention Center); Baltimore Fashion Week (Thursday-Sunday Harbor East)

I would assume there”s a good bit of crossover between these crowds, no?

While Comic-Con probably ISN’T really my thing, I get this funny feeling it might be more up my alley than I otherwise would have realized.

Plus-Stan effing Lee is going to be there!

Stan Lee!

It’s good news for me-not because I have any comic books I need signed-but more because I’ve been needing some dating advice and the phone lines over at Loveline have been LOCKED…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vJpAXf5wyk[/youtube]

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 27 June 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-Seattle Storm @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Arena Football: AFL Pittsburgh Power @ Orlando Predators (Friday 8pm from Orlando live on NFL Network); Canadian Football League: British Columbia Lions @ Montreal Alouettes (Thursday 7:30pm from Montreal live on NFL Network), Toronto Argonauts @ Calgary Stampeders (Saturday 8pm from Calgary live on NFL Network); NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement Expires (Friday); Cycling-Tour De France (Stage 1 Saturday Stage 2 Sunday Stage 3 Monday 8am live on VERSUS)

10. R. Kelly (Friday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena/Saturday 8pm Verizon Center); Trace Adkins (Friday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Kid Cudi (Saturday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Red/Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (Wednesday 6:30pm Rams Head Live); Todd Rundgren (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Matt and Kim (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club); “A Capitol Fourth” feat. Little Richard (Monday 8pm from the U.S. Capitol live on PBS); Uncle Sam Jam feat. Pat McGee Band & Blind Melon (Saturday 2pm National Harbor); Wale (Saturday 10pm Unitas Stadium), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Wednesday) and Larry Crowne (Friday) open in theaters

You can make fun of me all you want. If you don’t dig “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” you and I are simply going to have to agree to disagree…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNVguvNE7qc[/youtube]

I really feel like I should dig Kid Cudi much more than I do. All told, he’s okay…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt22KvnRSL4[/youtube]

I’ve actually seen Little Richard play once before…it was right after Maryland pasted Tennessee in the 2002 Peach Bowl. He played in the middle of downtown Atlanta, as they dropped a huge peach behind him. It kicked ass…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ6h0kyqSRk[/youtube]

I don’t know how many more praises I can sing for Wale. Dude is incredible, even if he is an effing Redskins fan…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zZqtYXDeh8[/youtube]

9. 4th of July Fireworks (Monday 9:30pm Inner Harbor); 4th of July parades/fireworks throughout Baltimore County (Saturday-Monday)

I’m partial myself to the Kingsville 4th of July parade having grown up on Bradshaw Road. As a youngster, it was nice to have something to do in town on Independence Day. Or at least a refreshing change of pace from what there was to do every other day in Kingsville…

nothing

So how did we get in so much trouble????

8. Boxing: IBF/WBO/WBA Heavyweight Championship Unification-Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye (Saturday 4:45pm from Hamburg, GER live on HBO), Friday Night Fights-Mark Melligen vs. Sebastian Lujan (Friday 11pm from San Antonio, TX live on ESPN2)

If a heavyweight title fight is held and no one pays attention, did it really happen?

This isn’t just a “everyone has a piece of the title so we’ll fight for a tenth of it” title fight, either. This is a legitimate “heavyweight championship of the world” title fight.

And yet…crickets.

Look, if Wladimir Klitschko wants people to pay attention to his next fight, I suggest he make it a “foxy boxing” contest against Jarah Marino (Thanks Guyism)…

jarah

Hey man…I know what I have to do to get page views, Wlad might have to do the same…

7. Auto Racing: NASCAR Coke Zero 400 (Saturday 7:30pm from Daytona, FL live on TNT)

I was in Charles Town, West Virginia Saturday night playing the ponies to celebrate a friend’s birthday. In the 5th race, the Number 5 horse literally through its’ jockey off not even a furlong in-only to go on to “win” the race by a nose. (Without the rider the win of course did not count.)

A young man standing near the rail near our party (who I’m reasonably certain was from WV) exclaimed “I ain’t never seen the #48 car do that!

So that’s what I’ve got from the world of NASCAR this week. Oh-apparently Kurt Busch won this week’s NASCAR race. And I saw Cars 2 Friday night! While I was sitting in the theater waiting for the flick to start, I Tweeted the following (follow me on Twitter @GlennClarkWNST)…

“Out to see #Cars2 tonight. #Thingsa27yearoldwithoutkidsshouldneverTweet”

So…yep…that’s all I’ve got for NASCAR. Honestly though, what did you expect?

6. Golf: PGA Tour AT&T National (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Newton Square, PA); Champions Tour Principal Charity Classic (Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from West Des Moines, IA live on Golf Channel)

The National used to be an event that folks cared about because it was hosted by Tiger Woods. That was of course before Tiger Woods retired from competitive golf without having the decency to hold as much as a press conference to announce his decision.

Without Tiger, Drew Forrester will once again be the only person who cares even a little bit about the event. But since it’s near Philadelphia, it’s a great excuse to pass along this snippet of food porn…

patssteak

Look man…I’m no golf fan…but if watching a couple holes earned me a trip to Pat’s…I might be in.

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Zach Britton dishes on the best hitter he’s faced

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Zach Britton dishes on the best hitter he’s faced

Posted on 03 June 2011 by Rex Snider

Yesterday’s edition of the Afternoon Drive served up an interesting and exciting cast of guests, highlighted by a conversation with Orioles rookie phenom, Zach Britton, as he promoted an upcoming event benefiting the Wounded Warriors Project.

And, of course, we talked a little baseball …..

Our conversation covered Adam Jones’ amazing catch during Wednesday’s game, the rigors of a west coast roadtrip, the butterflies experienced during the MLB draft and a commitment to winning.

However, it was my final question and Britton’s response that inspired me to reassess some of the latest rumblings we’ve heard about overrated and/or “over the hill” players.

Pointedly, I asked “who is the best hitter you’ve faced at the big league level?”

Britton qualified his answer by citing the amazing increase in talent among Major League hitters, in comparison to the lineups he faced in the minors.

Surprising to hear? Of course, not.

As for the best hitter he’s faced, Britton feels it’s Alex Rodriguez …..
.

In a very brief window, A’Rod has faced the Orioles southpaw just 3 times …. and he’s 3 for 3 in those opportunities. On an optimistic note, the hits were singles.

Ironically, Alex Rodriguez highlights a current Sports Illustrated article that reveals the “Most Overrated Players In Baseball”, in accordance with a survey of current players.

Hmmm …. Britton’s response has caused me to wonder how many American League starting pitchers were polled for the SI article. Perhaps, some envious positional counterparts were personal in their choices?

On the flip side, Britton’s experience on a big league mound is limited; he hasn’t faced a handful of the American League’s lineups, yet. He has yet to throw a pitch that counts to the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Joe Mauer or Jose Bautista.

In blunt honesty, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. Zach Britton has struck me as a humbly modest, yet fiercely competitive individual. You can hear the interview in its entirety HERE

We are appreciative of Zach’s time and generosity in spending a few moments with us, especially on a rare off day; upon returning from the west coast.

To that extent, it’s only fitting to elaborate on the primary reason for yesterday’s conversation, which emphasized on Zach’s commitment to supporting military personnel and specifically, the Wounded Warriors Project.

The Orioles will be represented by pitchers Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta during an upcoming event at the Under Armour Warehouse, where they’ll participate in assembling backpacks of gear for injured soldiers.

It’s a fitting tribute and act of fellowship, as Britton and Arrieta have active and veteran military personnel among family members. The event is scheduled for June 7th, and you can learn more about it HERE

Lip service is a cheap and easy way to suggest support for our real American heroes. Yet, Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta are selflessly committing time to help those who have made real sacrifices, and that’s a refreshing reality.
.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 30 May 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Sebastian Zbik vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (Saturday 10pm from Los Angeles live on HBO), Super Six World Boxing Classic Semifinals-Carl Froch vs. Glen Johnson (Saturday 9pm from Atlantic City live on Showtime); Arena Football: AFL Jacksonville Sharks @ New Orleans VooDoo (Friday 8pm from New Orleans live on NFL Network)

10. Rihanna/Cee-Lo Green (Saturday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys (Friday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Gabriel Iglesias/Russell Peters/Lisa Lampinelli (Friday 8pm Patriot Center); Creedence Clearwater Revisited/Three Dog Night (Friday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Capital Jazz Fest feat. Herbie Hancock, Natalie Cole, etc. (Friday-Sunday Merriweather Post Pavilion); Matt and Kim (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Steel Pulse (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); Against Me! (Friday 7pm Recher Theatre), Bang Tango/Kip Winger (Saturday 6:30pm Recher Theatre); Chuck Brown (Saturday 8pm & 11pm Rams Head On Stage); Death Cab For Cutie (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); The Bridge (Wednesday 8pm 8×10 Club); Bone Thugs N Harmony (Tuesday 7pm Bourbon Street); Bill Cosby (Thursday 8pm Wolf Trap), Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (Sunday 2pm Wolf Trap); Brian Wilson (Monday 8pm Wolf Trap); Kenny Chesney/Zac Brown Band (Saturday 4:30pm FedEx Field); The Script (Sunday 7:30pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); “X-Men: First Class” opens in theaters (Friday); Monster-Mania Con 18 (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Marriott Hunt Valley Inn)

First of all, there is simply no excuse if you’re not listening to The Bridge. They’re local, they’re outstanding and they’re really good looking. (Did I just say that?)

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

There’s a really good chance I stand across the water and watch Three Dog Night. I mean, wouldn’t you?

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

I’m a little embarrassed by how much I enjoy The Script. I feel like I might as well be a chick.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPEBN2dVNUY[/youtube]

I can’t believe Zac Brown Band has to open for Kenny Chesney. Lord knows it should be the other way around…

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

9. Auto Racing: NASCAR STP 400 (Sunday 1pm from Kansas City, KS live on FOX)

I never really enjoyed watching auto racing to begin with, so I have to assume that the racing gods will be willing to make sure every race ends with someone doing something idiotic on the last lap just to make sure we have something to talk about the next day, right?

For what it’s worth, I’m sure JR Hildebrand will always appreciate the Christmas cards he’ll get from Jean Van De Velde FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE.

“Thinking about you pal. Know if must be tough…again.”

And then there’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. I get the feeling he just didn’t want the Chicago Cubs to feel like they didn’t have company.

Right?

8. Golf: PGA Tour The Memorial (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday 3pm Sunday 2:30pm live on CBS. All golf from Dublin, OH); Champions Tour Principal Charity Classic (Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from West Des Moines, IA live on Golf Channel); LPGA Tour ShopRite LPGA Classic (Friday 12pm Saturday 5pm Sunday 4:30pm from Galloway, NJ on Golf Channel); Nationwide Tour Melwood Prince George’s County Open presented by Under Armour (Thursday & Friday 12:30pm Saturday 2:30pm Sunday 1:30pm from University of Maryland Golf Course in College Park live on Golf Channel)

At last week’s event, some guy I’ve never heard of beat some guy I’ve never heard of in a playoff. But good news! The guy who won is the nephew of some girl I’ve never heard of.

Former Terrapins coach Gary Williams is the host of the Nationwide Tour event this weekend, which means I’d almost think about caring about it.

If he makes a decent putt in the Pro-Am, I can only pray he celebrates accordingly…

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

7. Mixed Martial Arts: The Ultimate Fighter Finale-Team Lesnar vs. Team Dos Santos (Saturday 9pm from Las Vegas live on SpikeTV)

Saturday night’s event is highlighted by Clay Guida vs. Anthony Pettis. You may remember Pettis as the author of THE GREATEST MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF MMA….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH7oRb5Knjc[/youtube]

Holy hell I still don’t believe that happened.

6. Soccer: Team USA vs. Spain (Saturday 4:30pm from Foxborough, MA live on ESPN), Team USA Women vs. Mexico (Sunday 2pm from Harrison, NJ live on ESPN2); MLS-DC United @ Los Angeles Galaxy (Friday 11pm from Los Angeles live on Fox Soccer Channel)

Understand-I WILL be rooting for the Red, White & Blue Saturday afternoon. That being said, it doesn’t change the fact that my heart will always belong to Spain’s Paz Vega. It is what it is.

Pazvega

5. Scripps National Spelling Bee (Preliminaries Wednesday 8am live on ESPN3.com, Semifinals Thursday 10am live on ESPN, Finals Thursday 8:30pm live on ESPN. All spelling from National Harbor in DC)

The bad news: Erin Andrews is no longer involved in Spelling Bee coverage.

The good news: I’m pretty sure no one will have to spell “sardoodledom” ever again…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-3JSYDApec[/youtube]

4. NBA Playoffs: NBA Finals-Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat (Game 1 Tuesday 9pm from Miami live on ABC, Game 2 Thursday 9pm from Miami live on ABC, Game 3 Sunday 8pm from Dallas live on ABC)

Two things we can agree about as Americans.

One-we love our military. God bless.

Two-we of course hate LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

This is where things get sticky, because rarely as Americans have we ever knowingly accepted anything about Germany, so our upcoming love affair with Dirk Nowitzki is going to be uncomfortable at best.

Let’s remember though-without the Germans, we wouldn’t have ever had “Beerfest”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMk5Vo_YRMU[/youtube]

Yep, go Mavs!

3. NHL Playoffs: Stanley Cup Finals-Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks (Game 1 Wednesday 8pm from Vancouver live on NBC, Game 2 Saturday 8pm from Vancouver live on NBC, Game 3 Monday 8pm from Boston live on VERSUS)

Another tricky spot here. We can either root for Canada…or we can root for a city that gave us the Red Sox and the worst sports “reporter” in Charm City. (You know who you are…and I’m sure you’re reading!)

So…let’s always remember that Canada gave us Our Lady Peace…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Z89zW-8sY[/youtube]

And the great Pamela Anderson…

canucks

So….let’s go Canucks!

2. Council of Ravens Roosts Convention (Thursday-Sunday throughout Ocean City); 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears NFL appeal of ruling lifting lockout (Friday St. Louis)

You never know who you might bump into down in Ocean City during Ravens Roosts weekend. For example, you MIGHT bump into Sergio Kindle and Brian Billick…

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

OR you might bump into the legendary Intern Genna, who I believe has a permanent address in OC…

interngenna

(Edit from GMC: She’s the one on the right. I’m sure you can stumble upon her at Seacrets…where you might find Ray Rice too.)

1. Tennis: ATP Tour & WTA Tour French Open (Tuesday & Wednesday 8am Thursday 5am Friday 7am live on Tennis Channel, Tuesday & Wednesday 12pm Thursday 8am live on ESPN2, Friday 11am Saturday-Women’s Final & Sunday-Men’s Final 9am live on NBC)

No American men are around for Week 2 of a grand slam event. Say it with me in your best Jim Nantz voice, “A Tradition Unlike Any Other.”

Clearly the highlight of Roland Garros thus far has already been documented by Deadspin.

And since we have nothing to REALLY talk about here, here’s one more picture of Maria Sharapova. I mean, why not?

sharapova

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Horse race or horse’s arse: Is Kegasus smart for Baltimore and Preakness Day?

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.

Kegasus? Really?

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

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Towson Hoops Coach Pat Kennedy Resigns

Posted on 07 March 2011 by WNST Staff

Here is the official release, courtesy of Towson University…

Men’s Basketball Head Coach Pat Kennedy Resigns from Towson

TOWSON, Md. – Towson University head men’s basketball coach Pat Kennedy resigned from his position effective immediately, TU Director of Athletics Mike Waddell announced today. Kennedy completed his seventh season at Towson with a record of 4-26 as the Tigers head coach.

“Pat Kennedy is a class act and a great basketball mind,” said Towson Director of Athletics Mike Waddell.  “It is unfortunate the past seven seasons have not met our mutual expectations.  I am sure he will continue in the basketball world as he should.  We thank Pat and his wife Jeannie for all their efforts the past seven years and wish them the best in the future.”

The 2010-11 season marked Kennedy’s 31st as a Division I head coach. He ranks among the Top 25 active winningest Division I coaches with his 488 career victories, coming in at No. 22 before the start of the 2010-11 campaign.

Kennedy has taken teams to eight NCAA Tournaments and five NIT’s. He has had ten 20-plus win seasons and is the winningest coach in the Colonial Athletic Association. Over his career, 17 of his players he recruited went on to NBA careers, including former Towson Tiger and all-CAA selection Gary Neal from Baltimore’s Calvert Hall College, who is currently with the San Antonio Spurs.

A number of Kennedy’s former assistants have gone on to become head coaches or assistants in the NBA.

For over a decade, Pat served on the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Board of Directors and was the organization’s President in 2004-05.

A confidential national search for the next head coach of Towson basketball will begin immediately. Towson will be utilizing the services of Fogler Enterprises, a nationally recognized firm that conducts searches for championship caliber basketball coaches. TU Director of Athletics Mike Waddell will not be making any further comments on the search until the process has concluded.

Q&A with Director of Athletics Mike Waddell

What are you looking for in a new head men’s basketball coach?

First and foremost we are looking for the best fit for the long term benefit and development of our men’s basketball program. That takes into consideration a coach’s knowledge of the game and the ability to be an effective teacher and communicator. Our coach must have solid East Coast recruiting ties and a proven track record of being able to recruit a high caliber of player.  We will talk with existing head coaches, former head coaches, current college and pro assistants. Being able to build a coaching staff is a very important element towards building a winning program.

Specifically when you talk style of play, I would like to see someone who values a tough minded, physical style of basketball, intense defense, solid fundamentals, and up tempo offense that is fun to watch.  Win or lose going forward teams need to remember the Tigers the morning after we play them.  That will breed an attitude amongst our team and our fans. There is nothing like watching student-athletes who give their all, dive for loose balls, and play with great emotion. The type of coach that we will bring to Towson will value these traits, along with others.  This will all come to the surface when we interview candidates over the run of the process. There are things that you know going in are 100 percent essential and then there are other traits that will become apparent when the right person is in the room with you. I cannot over communicate the need for a true fit for this position.

What is the timeline to have a new coach in place?

Ideally, we would have our new coach and his staff in place soon after the Final Four is complete in Houston, sometime during the first week in April or thereabout.  A lot of this depends on when the coaches we want to talk to are finished with their seasons.  The spring recruiting period begins around the middle of the month following a dead period immediately after the Final Four.  By meeting this timeline, we set ourselves up to be able to fill out our roster spots with some recruits in the spring signing period.

What are your selling points that you will use when talking to coaches about the position?

I believe that we have one of the best jobs in mid-major basketball when you look at the facts. We have a great city to live in, a great recruiting area to draw talent from, and an outstanding University for our prospective student-athletes to get a first-class education.  Probably the most exciting attribute is that starting in two years Towson will have the best basketball arena in the CAA as well as a new dedicated practice facility.  Off the court we are making improvements such as improved academic support, a dedicated basketball strength and conditioning coach and sports medicine professional, plus enhancements in housing assignments for our basketball program and the best meal plans to enhance their physical development.  We will also be looking to upgrade the competitive schedule to include some additional television appearances for the program and will be working with Under Armour to maximize our basketball brand, nationally and internationally.  We are very fortunate to have some enhanced support coming in from a variety of areas and that will be a booster rocket behind Tiger Basketball. We’re going to be successful here at Towson because there is simply no other outcome that is acceptable.

Who will be running the program during your search for a new head coach?

I have asked Assistant Coach Phil Cohen and Director of Basketball Operations Kerry Kinard to stay on during this interim period. Phil was the director of basketball operations last year before becoming an assistant coach. Kerry joined the staff this past October following stops with the Utah Jazz and Charlotte Bobcats of the NBA. They will conduct off-season workouts, help monitor academic performance while Assistant A.D. for Sports Performance James Shipp will oversee the weight room workouts and the rehabilitation of any lingering seasonal injuries.

Are you using a committee to assist you in the process of selecting the new head coach?

I will be speaking with a lot of different people over the course of the search who will share knowledge and counsel on the various candidates that we will visit with. There will be no formal search committee. Once I have a candidate that I am comfortable with, I will forward that name to the President for final approval.

When will you update fans on the progress of the search?

This interview will be the only time during the process that I will be communicating with the Tiger Nation until we have a press conference and welcome in our new coach. Over the last 22 years, I have been a part of a lot of coaching searches, some more high profile than others. One thing that I have learned is that you really can impair the process by conducting business through the media, intentionally or otherwise.  We have a plan on how to find a new head men’s basketball coach for Towson University and we will go out and bring back the best coach to lead us to the top of the CAA and beyond. Once we have a coach, we’ll call a press conference and will have that for you live on www.TowsonTigers.com.  Once something is decided, we will not let time pass before we share that with our fans and alumni. The more secure the process can operate the better quality of people who will be involved.

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Live From Indianpolis: Ravens Salute Shorts at Combine

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Live From Indianpolis: Ravens Salute Shorts at Combine

Posted on 26 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

INDIANAPOLIS, In. — Greetings from LucasOil Stadium, where we are in attendance for the NFL Scouting Combine. Here are a few notes from a busy Saturday in the media center…

-Believe the hype surrounding Mount Union WR Cecil Shorts. At least believe the hype that the Baltimore Ravens are interested in the Division III prospect; which was confirmed by Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta.

Shorts told me Saturday he met with the team’s entire coaching staff in a formal interview setting Friday night. General Manager Ozzie Newsome was also involved in the interview according to the 6 foot receiver.

Shorts also played cornerback and even some quarterback during his time at the small Ohio college, but made the strong statement to reporters Saturday that “wide receiver is the position I’ll be playing.” Shorts was part of the Raiders’ 2008 National Championship team.

I’d expect to hear more about Shorts in my next Draft preview column.

-The BIGGEST star of the day was Auburn QB Cam Newton. Most of this year’s quarterback class in the NFL Draft met with reporters Friday, but Newton came in Saturday and received the type of attention usually saved for someone like Paul McCartney. My colleague Nestor Aparicio offered this picture via Twitter (@WNST)…

camnewton

Honestly, it was crazier than that. Of course, Newton sparked that fire in commenting that he “wanted to be an icon” after recently announcing a partnership with Under Armour. Newton read a prepared statement to clarify those comments when he reached the podium in Indy.

As exciting as the arrival of the Heisman Trophy winner and BCS Champion was, Newton is almost certainly not on the Ravens’ radar.

Other players generating a buzz upon making an appearance in the media center included Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett, North Carolina DT Marvin Austin, Georgia WR AJ Green and Oregon LB Clay Matthews.

-Matthews was one of a number of players who confirmed to me Saturday they had met either formally or informally with the Ravens this weekend.

Texas DE Sam Acho, Virginia Tech DL John Graves, Georgia FB Shaun Chapas, Oklahoma DE/LB Jeremy Beal, Southern Arkansas DE Cedric Thornton and Oklahoma State LB Orie Lemon were amongst a group of players who confirmed they had met with scouts or position coaches.

Tennessee WR Denarius Moore and North Carolina State WR Owen Spencer both confirmed meetings with Ravens WR Coach Jim Hostler.

A number of players told me they hadn’t yet met with the Ravens but believed they would Saturday evening or later in the weekend; including Texas A&M DE Von Miller.

Other players were more coy about who they had met with, including Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn and California DE Cameron Jordan.

-A common theme amongst the Linebackers in the room Saturday? They all look up to future Hall of Fame Ravens LB Ray Lewis. Lemon and Illinois LB Martez Wilson in particular pointed out they admired the perennial Pro Bowler and hoped to shape their careers in similar ways.

West Virginia RB Noel Devine told reporters his role model was former Ravens CB Deion Sanders. Devine and Sanders are both represented by agent Eugene Parker. Devine said Sanders once brought him for a visit of the Ravens’ 1 Winning Drive facility in Owings Mills.

Appalachian State LB D.J. Smith noted that former Ravens (and Mountaineers) TE Daniel Wilcox had been a good influence for him during his final season in Boone. Wilcox returned to his alma mater in 2010 to finish his degree and helped out the ASU staff during football season.

Acho told me he was very close with Ravens LB Sergio Kindle, but hadn’t spoken with Kindle much since the latter suffered a fractured skull in an accident at a friend’s house in Austin.

-There were no Maryland Terrapins in the media center Saturday, but two players talked to me about their connections to the Terps.

Spencer spoke glowingly about his relationship with former Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow during his final season at NC State. He described Yow as a “strong lady” who was “always positive” and who appeared to be very comfortable at “home” in Raleigh. Spencer commented that Yow was particularly interested in seeing the Wolfpack beat the Terps in College Park, but NCSU fell 38-31.

UConn RB Jordan Todman said Head Coach Randy Edsall’s decision to leave Connecticut for Maryland played no role in his decision to skip his senior season and enter the Draft. Todman told me he held no grudge towards the new head coach in College Park, but told me to expect Edsall to bring a more authoritative personality to the job.

-There is plenty of audio available from players in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net. Hear from the following potential future Ravens…

  • Oregon LB Casey Matthews
  • Louisville RB Bilal Powell
  • UConn RB Jordan Todman
  • Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn
  • Arizona LB Brooks Reed
  • Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward
  • Cal DE Cameron Jordan
  • Texas A&M DE Von Miller
  • Boise State WR Titus Young
  • Texas DE Sam Acho
  • Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett
  • LSU LB Kelvin Sheppard
  • Wisconsin DE JJ Watt
  • Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers

-I passed a long a few comments Saturday morning that I heard from various National Football League sources regarding the Ravens’ offseason Defensive Coordinator change. One NFL coach told me, “The Ravens have a chance now with (New DC Chuck) Pagano. The other guy (Greg Mattison) didn’t know what he was doing.”

Other statements I heard from NFL sources said similar things.

Make sure you continue to follow us @WNST on Twitter for all of the latest from Indianapolis.

-G

(Headline photo courtesy of Cleveland Plain-Dealer)

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In Shadow of Vasquez, Maryland’s Stoglin Continues Emergence

Posted on 20 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — It seemed fitting that the University of Maryland would hang the No. 21 jersey of Greivis Vasquez in the Comcast Center rafters during a season where the entire program faces adversity.

Fitting of course because “adversity” could have easily been Vasquez’s middle name during the four seasons he patrolled the floor for the Terrapins before being selected in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies.

It was much too easy to point out coming into Maryland’s Sunday night tilt with North Carolina State that Gary Williams’ team was still looking for a way to replace Vasquez’s production on the floor and more importantly his leadership on and off the court. It seemed to be the biggest reason why the Terps entered Sunday in imminent danger of having their NCAA Tournament bubble hopes completely burst.

Greivis Vasquez came to Comcast Center Sunday night with a Maryland team facing significant adversity. It was a familiar script.

The difference Sunday for Vasquez was that he had to remain in his seat as the Terps faced a second-half deficit against the Wolfpack. Instead of personally carrying the team on his shoulders through a time of adversity, the “Vivacious Venezuelan” would simply have to watch from his seat to see if one of Maryland’s young guards could carry the team to only their third victory of the season in games decided by a single-digit difference.

Had freshman Terrell Stoglin not stepped up, arena officials may have had to use force to keep Vasquez off the floor.

Stoglin was fantastic for Maryland, scoring 25 points (matching a career high he posted just five days earlier in a loss at Virginia Tech), dishing nine assists and turning the ball over just once as Maryland (17-10, 6-6 ACC) held on for an 87-80 win over NC State (14-12, 4-8).

The win doesn’t get them much closer to the NCAA Tournament, but it at least kept them from burying their hopes altogether.

After being inserted to the starting lineup alongside fellow freshman guard Pe’Shon Howard for the first time all season, the young man from Tucson, Arizona may have well taken a mighty step towards replacing the Under Armours of Vasquez. It started with advice he received when his team faced a 40-38 deficit at halftime.

“I just wanted to push the ball and go, but coach told me to calm down and just stay within our offense” said Stoglin. “That’s what we did and that’s when we came back to take the lead.”

Stoglin was particularly impressive in the second frame, scoring 18 of his 25 points after intermission to go with four more assists and no turnovers. He admitted finding inspiration in the pregame ceremony honoring Vasquez.

“When I saw his jersey number go up there, I thought to myself, ‘Man, that’s what I want.’”

Stoglin is a long way from being remembered with the likes of Vasquez, Steve Blake, Lonny Baxter, Juan Dixon, Keith Booth, Len Elmore, Len Bias and the nine other men who have been honored in such a way just 27 games into his collegiate career. But performances like the one he put together Sunday night are at least reminiscent of some put together by Vasquez.

When the game was on the line, Vasquez came through. Stoglin was aware of that trait when asked what he most admired about the newest Terp to have his jersey honored.

“Honestly? His heart. He wasn’t the most athletic, most talented person but he had heart and I respect that a lot.”

Tying a career high in points and reaching a career high in assists in a potential bubble-eliminating game that was tied with 5:20 to play?

I’d say that qualifies as showing heart.

Williams noticed Stoglin’s performance, but admitted there was one area in particular where the freshman still needed to improve.

“Terrell thinks the green light is always green. He’s never seen a red light.”

The coach would go on to add of his 6-foot-1 freshman: “He’s going to make some mistakes once in a while in terms of shot selection, but what he gives you is someone who wants to be out there and really likes the competition. He really enjoys playing. He’s a tough little guy, and it’s great to see him advance during his freshman year.”

If you take out the word “little”, does it sound like something you heard Williams say about Vasquez?

“It’s the great competitor that thinks he can score against anybody,” Williams added about Stoglin. “You gotta channel that a little bit because you’re going against good people now, and see where it’s best for you to pick your spots. I thought he took two bad shots the whole day, and he scored 25 points. So I’ll take two bad shots for 25 points.”

Williams thought the comparison to Vasquez was fair.

“Greivis gradually came along to where he realized he had to be a leader. That’s what I think changed his game more than anything else was knowing that he had to get people (like) Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes involved in the game. That’s what moved Greivis up to the level where he could play in the NBA.”

For his part, Vasquez was happy to see Stoglin and Howard both in the starting lineup.

“That’s great,” said Vasquez. “That puts a lot of pressure on the upperclassmen. They’ve got to take it as ‘if these guys as freshmen are playing hard, now we’ve got to wake up.’”

It’s not worth getting too carried away about a game against NC State, but 50 points in two games is enough of a statement that it cannot be totally ignored.

Maryland has a long way to go to reach the NCAA Tournament, likely needing to start with wins against Florida State and North Carolina this week to have any hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament.

But the emergence of Stoglin alongside the continued dominance of sophomore big man Jordan Williams (who scored 26 points and collected eight rebounds against NCSU) give Maryland fans hope that a magical run like the one Vasquez lead Maryland on in 2009 might still be possible.

And in the eyes of Gary Williams, the comparison between Stoglin and Vasquez is favorable towards the youngster in at least one area.

“Greivis is a lot crazier than that. Terrell’s like easy to coach in his freshman year.”

-G

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Maryland plays it safe in hiring Edsall

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Maryland plays it safe in hiring Edsall

Posted on 03 January 2011 by Luke Jones

A volatile three weeks at the University of Maryland culminated with an underwhelming decision Sunday afternoon.

Despite rampant rumors of Mike Leach bringing his “Air Raid” offense to College Park — along with the baggage attached to the talented, but controversial coach — Maryland ultimately played it safe with the hiring of Randy Edsall less than 24 hours after his Connecticut team fell to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

Full disclosure is needed before I continue.

The 52-year-old and I both attended Susquehannock High School in Glen Rock, Pa. (a brief 40-minute drive from Baltimore up I-83 for those wondering). It’s not often that the new head coach of a college football program that you cover just happens to be a fellow “Warrior,” so I took a personal interest when Edsall’s name was gaining steam last week.

That said, I’ve never met the man and am only privy to second-hand information from mutual acquaintances still residing in the area. Edsall is a highly-respected, hard-working coach who even returned to his alma mater to speak at graduation just a few years ago.

Follow BaltimoreLuke on Twitter

Maryland football supporters are undoubtedly scratching their heads that a man coming from such an ordinary program has been selected to transform the Terps from “good to great,” as athletic director Kevin Anderson professed two weeks ago.

With the backlash of the dismissal of Ralph Friedgen still being felt by the university, Edsall’s hiring is not the dynamic move most anticipated to invigorate a declining — and now, angry — fan base.

But it may prove to be the right one.

Given the circumstances surrounding the coaching change, fans are justified in feeling let down after most pointed to Leach to take the program to the next level. And make no mistake, the university didn’t fire Friedgen — a Maryland alum who gave everything he had to the program — with a pedestrian-looking replacement like Edsall in mind, at least initially.

But when it came time to step to the plate with the self-imposed deadline of January 4th approaching quickly, Anderson and other university leaders made the careful choice.

Perhaps Maryland feared Leach would simply use the school as a stepping stone to an elite job, bolting in a year or two for the SEC or a return to the Big XII.

Or maybe the stigma of his treatment of receiver Adam James at Texas Tech — murky details aside — and the messy divorce in Lubbock that followed proved too big a risk.

The Utopian link between Leach and Under Armour’s Kevin Plank that some dreamed would cultivate Maryland into a powerhouse like Nike-created Oregon sounded so great on paper, but apparently wasn’t meant to be.

Instead, Maryland grabbed Edsall, a man who quietly built something of his own over the last 12 years at Connecticut. If circumstances had been different and Edsall had been hired after last season’s 2-10 disaster or following a more harmonious departure by Friedgen, it’s a move that likely would have been better-received.

Edsall’s arrival in College Park by itself won’t spike season-ticket sales or fill the empty suites in Tyser Tower, but the one thing that will is winning. With a strong cast returning in 2011, the program will likely get a slight boost in sales despite adjusting to a new coaching staff. Maintaining that momentum and taking it to greater heights will be the challenge in the years to come.

Coaching hires should be made with the next 10 years in mind, not the next 10 months, so it’s hard to ignore the resume built by Edsall at Connecticut.

Arriving in Storrs 12 years ago with the Huskies still a Div. I-AA team playing in the Atlantic 10, Edsall left on the heels of a Big East championship and Fiesta Bowl appearance at a school where most people are talking college basketball year-round. Despite the weak nature of the Big East, that transformation doesn’t just happen with a few decent recruits and a solid playbook.

That feverish work ethic and perseverance is what makes him appealing enough to think it might just work at Maryland. Taking the football program to the next level will take plenty of work, and his career suggests he might stick around long enough for it to happen. Despite hearing his name as a candidate for several higher-profile jobs over the years — including Notre Dame a year ago — Edsall remained at UConn, transforming the Huskies from an independent doormat (a 5-19 record in their first two years at the Div. I-A level) to a viable contender in a BCS conference (33-19 in the last four years).

Edsall will need to continue to improve and evolve as he now steps outside his comfort level. He’ll face the same challenges that plagued Friedgen in College Park, such as difficulty in attracting top talent and a fickle fan base. As he did at Connecticut, he’ll be coaching at a basketball-first school and faces an uphill battle in appeasing the large portion of fans unhappy with the ugly dumping of Friedgen.

His results at Connecticut (74-70 with five bowl appearances) are impressive in relative terms, but not exactly eye-popping by any stretch of the imagination. Expectations will be much higher at Maryland considering the circumstances of his arrival.

To succeed in taking Maryland to the next level, he will need to put in the same tireless hours he spent at UConn, building credibility in the Baltimore-Washington area and attracting top talent to College Park.

Edsall is the safe play, but only time will tell whether it was the right one.

Flashy hires may steal the headlines and produce giddy feelings — Charlie Weis at Notre Dame comes to mind — but can fail quite easily. And even the dullest appointments — like Ohio State hiring Youngstown State’s Jim Tressel — can produce sensational results.

Of course, Maryland lacks the prestige or enormous budgets of the aforementioned programs, but the principles of hiring remain the same.

Not many fans were thrilled when the Ravens hired a man known only as Jim Harbaugh’s brother three years ago. However, as John Harbaugh and the Ravens embark on their third consecutive trip to the playoffs, it’s safe to say they made the right choice, even after being spurned by hotshot coordinator Jason Garrett.

Looking into the crystal ball is always a precarious task, but Edsall ultimately provided the cleanest picture in the eyes of Maryland.

Now we’ll see if he’s up to the challenge.

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Live From Owings Mills: Gooden, Burgess Miss Practice Again

Posted on 30 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (11-4) returned to practice Thursday at 1 Winning Drive, continuing preparations for Sunday’s regular season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals (4-11) at M&T Bank Stadium.

LB Tavares Gooden missed a second straight day of practice Thursday, he dislocated his shoulder in the Ravens’ Week 16 win over the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison said Thursday he thought Gooden would try to get on the field Sunday.

“He’ll try to if the doctors gave him the okay” said Mattison. “Tavares Gooden will do anything he can do to play, there’s no question. That’s like everybody on our defense. They know how important this game is.”

With a win and a Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens would clinch the AFC North title and a first round bye in the AFC playoffs.

S Tom Zbikowski (back) also did not participate in practice Thursday. Zbikowski has not played since being forced to leave the team’s Week 14 win over the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium in the first half. Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday he did not expect the safety to be available for Sunday’s game.

S Ed Reed (neck) and LB Prescott Burgess (illness) did not practice Thursday either, neither is believed to be at risk of missing Sunday’s game.

C Matt Birk (knee) returned to practice Thursday and was a full participant after missing Wednesday’s game. TE Todd Heap (thigh), WR Derrick Mason (ankle/abs), TE Dennis Pitta (head) and CB Fabian Washington (back) were all full participants as well.

WR/KR David Reed (wrist/head) was a limited participant Thursday, he’s on track to play Sunday for the first time since suffering a concussion in the team’s Week 15 win over the New Orleans Saints.

The Bengals announced Thursday (via Twitter) WR Chad Ochocinco (ankle) will not make the trip to Charm City.

Three other Bengals did not participate in practice Thursday. TE Jermaine Gresham (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (ankle) and LB Dan Skuta (back) were not on the practice field.

RB Bernard Scott (toe) was a limited participant for the Bengals Thursday, DE Carlos Dunlap (shoulder) was a full participant.

NOTES: Coordinators Mattison, Cam Cameron & Jerry Rosburg met with reporters following practice Thursday, those chats are available now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……OL Chris Chester joined Drew Forrester Thursday on “The Morning Reaction”, that chat is available in the Audio Vault……DE Paul Kruger is scheduled to join Forrester Friday morning at 7:15am……Pete Morelli’s crew will officiate Sunday’s game……The Ravens announced Thursday they will give away purple Under Armour wristbands to fans who attend Sunday’s game. The wristbands are intended to support the Wounded Warrior Project……New Ravens LS Kevin Houser will wear #70. The number was previously worn by Matt Katula, the veteran LS who was released by the team during Training Camp after five seasons in Baltimore……The Ravens will return to practice Friday, Harbaugh is scheduled to meet with the media following Friday’s practice

-G

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