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Some rambling Orioles observations ….

Posted on 11 March 2011 by Rex Snider

As we approach another weekend, we’re also seeing the second week of Spring Training action coming to an end.  Can we really predict what lies ahead for the 2011 Orioles, based on a couple weeks worth of exhibition baseball?

 

That depends …..

 

I’m certainly not willing to get overexcited about the prospective successes of Jake Fox (although, I like him), Nolan Reimold and Ryan Drese on the heels of competition against lineups concocted of mixed Major League talent and “camp bodies”.

 

But, I think some discernable conclusions can be made on what we’ve observed, since the birds landed in Sarasota, a month ago …..

 

-  Brian Roberts is by all means the figurative piece to this Orioles lineup.  It’s much more vulnerable without him.  The O’s had a winning record when Roberts played; 30-29 (with him) and 36-67 (without him), in 2010.  While most of Roberts’ games occurred after Buck Showalter took over, just remember the manager doesn’t play the game.

 

So, how important is a true leadoff hitter?  Just look at the Red Sox, without Jacoby Ellsbury, in last year’s lineup.  Does the optimism surrounding this Orioles team really weigh heavily on the health of Brian Roberts’ back?  In a word …. YES.

 

-  Vladimir Guerrero has made a career on being a “bad ball hitter.”  If you have any questions regarding this phrase, just watch last night’s homer against the Pirates – low and away …. and he launched a bomb to leftfield.  He’s gonna have a nice summer …..

 

-  I never, EVER profess to know more than the very men who’ve made their life working in the game of baseball.  But, I questioned bringing back Koji Uehara, specifically due to his fragile injury concerns.  So, while I’m disappointed that he’s sidelined, I’m not surprised.

 

-  According to USA Today, 7 of the Top-10 amateur prospects are pitchers.  The Orioles have the 4th overall selection, in the June draft.  With a minor league system desperately in need of positional depth, I’ve got a very uneasy feeling …..

 

-  If you could nominate one person to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in the home opener, on April 4th, who would it be?  I think it’s an easy choice – just pick a random KID and make their day.  No more dignitaries or so-called celebs.  Give the ball to a kid …..

 

HAPPY FRIDAY !!!!!

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Wednesday 3-Pointer: Buck Growing on O’s Like a Nice Goatee, NCAA Brackets Busted Already & Give VCU a Re-Do

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Wednesday 3-Pointer: Buck Growing on O’s Like a Nice Goatee, NCAA Brackets Busted Already & Give VCU a Re-Do

Posted on 09 March 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

Wednesday 3-Pointer

 

 #1 – Buck’s Orioles Growing on Me Like a Well Kept Beard

 

Regardless of the logistics and profitability (or lack thereof) in televising spring training baseball games, it would seem that a team that owns a network should be able to do such things, and while I’m aware that it’s not a practice carried on throughout Major League Baseball, I’m also aware that the league only began televising their own draft last year, so just because they aren’t doing it now doesn’t mean that there is no market for it or profit/benefit in it. At this time of year as our thoughts turn to warm weather and baseball, it would be nice to turn our TVs there too.

 

I’m not sure whether the decision not to televise comes down to it actually costing the team or just not providing enough profit to justify it. In either case, I’d have to imagine that if televising spring training (home) games served no other purpose they’d at least do a better job at generating fan interest than those silly in-house commercials that they produce and run all season long trying to convince folks who are already watching the games to watch games. To that end I’d presume they could justify it as pseudo-advertising if nothing else.

 

Needless to say I was happy to get a chance to lay eyes on the team first hand in their game against the Yankees on Monday, and although I love a pitchers’ duel as much as any baseball purist, no runs scored on either side was a bit disappointing. The game itself served as a reminder, perhaps (counter) to my initial point that in spring training there are too many individual agendas at play (pitchers working specific pitches, batters not subscribing to particular game situations) to make for interesting or at least competitive games.

 

The highlight of the night for me though (narrowly beating out Reynolds laser the other way) was the in game interview with Buck Showalter. At one point, when asked to opine on the notable upgrades to Ed Smith Stadium he said something to the effect of “another excuse eliminated”. For long suffering Orioles fans, this is music to our ears.

 

What it says to me is that Buck is aware that the team has a perception problem that will linger for as long as they continue to buy into it themselves. It was a nice insight (a nugget if you will) into Showalter’s approach in trying to change the clubhouse culture. Reports by the Baltimore Sun indicating that Showalter had gotten the club to loosen its stance on the facial hair policy is another excuse eliminated I think. While it seems like a small thing, if the team has a perception problem and knows it, then there’s no reason to add to their challenges with frivolous policies. It may seem like a small thing, but much like the hair on the chin’s of Derrek Lee and Vlad Guerrero, Showalter is growing on me, and lots of other fans too I’d imagine.

 

 

 

#2 – Brackets Already Busted

 

If you haven’t yet fully come to assess the potential effects of the expansion of the NCAA Tournament field to 68 teams, you’d better get a hold of it by Sunday night, as it’s going to impact your bracket pools this time in ways that the addition of the 65th team never did.

 

The first four play-in games to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week in Dayton Ohio will not be made up of the worst 8 teams in the field as I think most people still suspect. Instead the 4 lowest division winners (seeds 65-68) will be pitted against each other in Dayton with the winners of those games advancing to the 16-line in the tourney and being destroyed by #1 seeds. As with the 64 vs. 65 game in years past, this can be seen as a foregone conclusion and may not even merit picking, a policy that most pools have seemingly adopted.

 

The other two games in Dayton though will feature the 34th – 37th at large teams and matching them up against each other. The winners of those games will be inserted into the field presumably on the 11th or 12th lines depending on actual seeding. That means match-ups on the 6 vs. 11 and the infamous 5 vs. 12 lines in the first round have just gotten a lot tougher to pick.

 

Will pools adopt a system where the play in winners are considered wildcards and can be advanced as such or will all of your pools have to be in before Tuesday night? How much harder does it become to pick a 12-seed to upset a 5 if you have a 50/50 shot at determining who that 12-seed will even be? You can bet that folks you know who always pick at least one 12-seed in the first round will now be compelled to do that in the regions where play-ins determine the 16-seeds and the 12-seeds are predetermined.

 

I think I’m most interested to see if the NCAA will play the 4 lowest overall seeds all on Tuesday and the other (more interesting) games on Wednesday. Since a 16-seed has still yet to beat a #1, that would at least give everyone an extra day to get those brackets in. While the NCAA can’t and won’t publicly condone gambling, there’s no doubt that they owe a lot of the popularity of their event to the popularity of the pools that accompany it. It will be interesting to see if they play the lower seeds first and at least (in some way) acknowledge what they’re doing to bracket players everywhere who I am afraid aren’t yet ready for this.

 

 

 

#3 – Do Over for VCU

 

I got to talk to Tim Gardner from USA Today on Monday’s show (available in the Buy-A-Toyota.com Audio Vault) ahead of the CAA championship and the prospects therein, he indicated to me that both George Mason and Old Dominion had done enough for the committee regardless of the outcome of the title game to get themselves into the field of 68. He went on to say that if VCU won the game the CAA would likely see its first ever 3-team bid into the tourney.

 

VCU didn’t win, but they made a valiant effort. In the end the result was 70-65 Old Dominion with the Monarchs sewing up the CAA’s automatic bid and likely leaving VCU home for the dance. The end however isn’t what everyone seems to be talking about. The game started with a peculiar VCU turnover, they quickly got the ball back and buried a three-pointer. After forcing another quick turnover VCU guard Ed Nixon slipped on his way in for a lay-up, leading to a turnover and a three-pointer at the other end. Play was then stopped due to the excessive slipping going on under VCU’s basket, and a barrage of towel wielding employees went about wiping what was described by the game’s announcers as a film off of the floor at that end. The announcers blamed it on the fog machine used for pre-game intros and blamed the conference for not testing it as they were on a neutral floor for a conference title game.

 

It turns out that it wasn’t the fog machine. Yahoo sports reported that the film on the floor was actually baby powder, left there from Old Dominion’s mascot “Big Blue’s” attempt at a pre-game LeBron James impersonation. Although the score was 3-3 at the time of the stoppage, and could have played out in a number of conceivable ways from there out, the two turnovers and resultant 3-pointer the other way possibly as a direct result of the floor issues could have cost the Rams as much as 9 points (lost and given up) to that stage of the game…on account of the ODU mascot.

 

With 3 extra berths available in the field this year, VCU deserves one; it’s the right thing to do. Who are they going to rob one from the 5th place SEC, ACC or PAC-10 finisher? Put them in the field in Dayton with a shot at the 12 spot if they advance. That would make me feel a little better about the mess they’re already projecting to make of the brackets this season. And VCU’s resume isn’t terrible; they beat UCLA early and an underrated Wofford team in December. They’re 2-1 against a strong George Mason squad and 1-2 after Monday’s loss against Old Dominion. Give them a redo, and get the mascots and cheerleaders away from the court, before they really cost someone a game.

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If Zbikowski Helps Ravens Beat Steelers, I Won’t Fight His Desire To

Posted on 08 March 2011 by Glenn Clark

I think I’ve changed my mind about this about a hundred times since I first heard the news.

Baltimore Ravens Safety Tom Zbikowski will step into a boxing ring at the MGM Grand Saturday night in Las Vegas to face a largely unknown opponent named Richard Bryant. The fight will be part of the undercard for the Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga showdown, which will air on Showtime Pay-Per-View. It will be Zbikowski’s second professional fight, but first since a 2006 knockout of Robert Bell at Madison Square Garden in New York.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-8BYolVPVw[/youtube]

When I first heard the news, I immediately thought to myself, “There’s no way this is okay.”

I understood the concept. With National Football League Owners and the NFL Player’s Association (NFLPA) locked in a battle over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), it appeared as though the league was quickly headed towards a lockout, which would allow players to do just about anything they wanted to away from football. New York Jets LB Bart Scott has been seen on Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling. Minnesota Vikings DE Ray Edwards (a free agent who many fans would like to see consider Charm City) has also decided to box in the offseason.

But I couldn’t help but wonder if Zbikowski’s decision was a good one. I couldn’t help but wonder if as a professional football player, Zbikowski might not be better off simply preparing for football. Whether or not the NFL was going to experience a work stoppage, there are few of that don’t believe in our hearts there will be a NFL season in 2011, and the Ravens will have an opportunity to claim a second Vince Lombardi Trophy in Indianapolis in 2012.

On “The Afternoon Drive” last week on AM1570 WNST, Drew Forrester and I discussed our thoughts on Zbikowski fighting. I said then I felt as though if I were a teammate of Zbikowski’s, I would probably want to get on the phone with him and say “I understand you’re a boxer. I understand you want to do this. But we want to win the Super Bowl this year. Why don’t you just get together with me in Arizona and let’s work on getting ready for the season.”

In fact, when Washington Redskins OL and former Raven Casey Rabach joined Forrester and I last Thursday on the show, I posed the question to him. “If one of your teammates were to (choose to box, fight Mixed Martial Arts, etc during the lockout), would you make that phone call to say ‘just bear in mind everything that’s going into this decision you’re making.’”

Rabach’s answer seemed perfectly logical to me.

“I’d be the first one on the phone I think to call that player and say ‘hey, remember where your bread is buttered’” said Rabach. “Just be careful, be smart. Definitely those are things that would kind of scare a guy (like) myself, if I hear a player doing that. It just doesn’t seem like anything great will come out of that.”

On Friday’s show, we received a call from Mike Paskoff-one of our regulars on “The Morning Reaction” and someone I worked with briefly during my time at CBS Radio. He reminded me that when it comes to the decisions of other players, teammates tend to be very supportive. Whether the situation is a holdout, an off-field issue or a locker room dispute, players often tend to respond with a simple “that’s his business.”

While Paskoff was right, Rabach’s comments justified the uneasiness I felt about Zbikowski’s decision.

Is this REALLY a good idea?

There was a detour on the road to an inevitable lockout last Friday, as the owners and NFLPA agreed to extend discussion another week. Zbikowski participated in a conference call coordinated by Top Rank Boxing (who is promoting Saturday’s card) to tell reporters he would be participating in the fight with or without a work stoppage in the NFL. As an Unrestricted Free Agent, Zbikowski couldn’t be stopped contractually.

When asked about the support of his teammates, Zbikowski pointed out that a number of teammates including DT Haloti Ngata intended to head to Vegas to support him in his fight.

This Ravens analyst and lifelong Baltimore sports fan remained skeptical.

On Monday, I joined Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” on AM1570 WNST to chat with Zbikowski about his decision, and to get direct word from the safety about my own concerns.

Thinking back on Rabach’s comments, I asked Zbikowski if any teammates had reached out to him to question his decision.

“I haven’t gotten that yet” the former Notre Dame standout told us. “I think people know better than that, because I’m just that hard headed. If you tell me not to do something I’m going to do the opposite, if you tell me not to do it I’m not going to do it, so you’re better off letting it run its course (and) let me do my thing.”

While not overwhelmingly convincing, I understood the concept. I’m 27 years old myself, and I still tend to have the mentality of a 16 year boy when it comes to authority.

“Whatever you want me to do; I’m probably not going to do it-just to make you uncomfortable.”

I’m pretty hard-headed myself. Somewhere right the great Tom Clark (my father) is chuckling.

But Zbikowski followed up those comments with others that were more thought provoking.

“To be honest with you, all these football players are doing MMA, boxing things anyways in the offseason. The days of lifting, trying to get bigger were in high school and college, nobody cares how much you bench on the football field, player wise, nobody cares how much you bench or squat, it means nothing. It’s how athletic you are, it’s how you perform. It’s all those things.”

Zbikowski was completely on target with such thoughts. A number of NFL players have sought out Mixed Martial Arts training in the offseason. In fact, many of those players have done so under the guidance of FOX NFL Insider Jay Glazer. Ravens DT Kelly Gregg was scheduled to work with Glazer during the 2010 offseason, but backed out at the last minute. Incorporating fighting into months of preparation for football isn’t unique to Zbikowski. The only unique aspect is that Zbikowski would actually step into a professional ring against a combatant who desired to cause him physical harm.

It’s unique…and potentially much more dangerous.

Zbikowski had said in his conference call that he had hoped to fight multiple fights during the spring and summer. I asked him Monday if he would still do so even if the league avoided a work stoppage.

“I’m going to see how this goes” responded Zbikowski. “If it’s another 50 second one (like his 50 second knockout of Bell at MSG), I don’t know If I can keep up the six, seven weeks of training because anybody who’s ever done boxing knows what kind of shape you have to be in and what kind of training it takes. That was one of the toughest things. I sparred almost 100 rounds for 50 seconds last time and that’s bittersweet, because you can’t complain about your pro debut at Madison square garden being a 50 second knockout. We’ll see how it goes because I’m not really one who’s good with making plans. I kind of fly by the seat of my pants and see what’s what.”

While it’s certainly understandable that Zbikowski wouldn’t want to prepare for weeks for less than a minute of fighting, it’s also reasonable to think that without a lockout Zbikowski’s only focus should be helping the Ravens win the AFC North.

With that in mind, the front office of the Baltimore Ravens (particularly Owner Steve Bisciotti, General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh) should have every right to ask Zbikowski to keep his focus on football if there is no work stoppage-even if he believes he will eventually become a full time boxer.

And if they do?

“I don’t know about this one because it’s already fight time, you know I would have a tough time saying no to it” responded Zbikowski. “I would just say ‘You guys have (Pro Bowl safety) Ed Reed, you don’t need me! Eight picks and he’s not even playing in six games! You don’t need me!”

It’s funny, but it’s not exactly reassuring. Zbikowski did go on to offer another thought that would reassure me a bit more.

“There’s not going to be anybody in better shape come Training Camp. I’ll guarantee you that.”

I’m still a bit uneasy. Zbikowski told me he’s well aware of the worst case scenario. There’s absolutely a chance (although I’d think the chances are slim) that he could step into the ring Saturday night and take the wrong shot to the head.

If that happens, the second guessing of his decision to fight will be the least of Zbikowski’s concerns.

But as Forrester has said on multiple occasions this offseason, there’s only one thing that should matter right now for the Baltimore Ravens.

Beating the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Zbikowski joked about how boxing could prepare him for the task.

“I’ll bring back a belt. When we play them, I’m going to stand at midfield. If they’ve got somebody they want to throw at me again like they did back when we had the home game, I’m gonna take somebody’s head off. Or you can just send me in (and) let me blitz. Haloti got a little piece of (Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger) on accident, imagine what would happen if I do it on purpose. I’ll take an ejection; I’ll take an ejection for the team.”

He gets the point. If he’s on the field and contributing if/when the Ravens face the Steelers this fall, I don’t care what he does in the offseason.

Of course, I’ll be pulling for him to never leave his feet Saturday night.

If you missed Monday’s interview with Zbikowski, visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

-G

(Headline photo courtesy of USA Today)

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 24 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I (like every Wednesday), can add two songs to the “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” category.

The new honor goes to Dave Matthews Band, who KILLED “Squirm” when I saw them in Charlottesville last Friday. As I’ve said before, there was a time when I didn’t think “Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King” was deserving of the Album of the Year nod it was given by the Grammy Awards. I was TOTALLY wrong…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_0cTJF5vw8[/youtube]

And TGSOATTW “Retro” version is a nod to the “family” event that is Thanksgiving. Here’s “Dance to the Music” by Sly & The Family Stone…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiIBwu2mjs0[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Michael Oher, Le’Ron McClain, Haloti Ngata leading Pro Bowl voting at respective positions

Of this group, only McClain and Ngata have REALLY been the best players at their position in the AFC this season. Lewis has played at a Pro Bowl level but is leading in votes by reputation. Ed Reed has barely played but also has a reputation. Oher has had an up and down season, but there was a movie made about him.

Duffy points out that other Ravens are deserving of consideration for a trip to Hawaii. Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin, Ray Rice and Billy Cundiff are certainly deserving of being in the conversation, Terrell Suggs might be as well.

The good news (for people who care about this type of thing) is that the reputation of the organization alone will get more players to the Pro Bowl.

I don’t necessarily care much about which players make the Pro Bowl, unless a deserving player comes up short (like was the case with Jarret Johnson a year ago). Only Ngata and McClain really look like “must” Pro Bowlers this season, so I don’t think I’ll be disappointed when the teams are announced.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens signed former Kansas City Chiefs OL Colin Brown to practice squad

Unreal.

You mean to tell me there was an open spot on the Ravens’ practice squad (after they promoted Bryan Mattison and released Scott Kooistra) and yet they DIDN’T sign Emanuela de Paula? RIDICULOUS! (Thanks Guyism!)

depaula

3. ESPN.com has Ravens 3rd in power rankings

And at 3rd, the Ravens are ahead of every other 7-3 team and even the 8-2 New York Jets. Just keep that in mind.

Before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things…

-We’ll be out at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today as the Ravens return to practice. We’re expecting to hear from John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis and more around noon. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST, following us on Twitter @WNST and checking out WNST.net throughout the day!

-Did you miss Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric Decosta with Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault today include…

  • Johnny Holliday (Legendary Terps PBP Voice)-who talked Terrapins football and basketball with Drew Wednesday
  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Wednesday
  • Joe Beninati (Washington Capitals Play by Play-Comcast SportsNet)-who talked puck with Drew Wednesday
  • Our Morning Reaction “Cheap Shots from the Bleachers”, as Drew resorted to BEGGING for the Orioles to get better players, and I got soft as I reflected on the community at Thanksgiving
  • Postgame audio from Maryland’s win over Delaware State Tuesday night, including Gary Williams, Cliff Tucker, Adrian Bowie and Dino Gregory
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Jorge Ortiz (USA Today) and Craig Calcaterra (“HardballTalk”-NBCSports.com)-who joined Allen McCallum and Rex Tuesday on “The MLB Report”
  • Andrew Perloff (Sports Illustrated)-who went around the AFC with Rex Wednesday
  • John Rallo (Shogun Fights)-who joined Thyrl Nelson for “The MMA Report” Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so I’d get over there…like…ASAP…to check it all out. You’ve got a long weekend ahead. ENJOY!

4. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Orioles add bench coach Willie Randolph to staff

There’s a natural “I’ve heard of this guy so I’m excited about him” mentality that comes with hiring a former MLB manager for a coaching position.

My gut says that Willie Randolph will be a nice addition to Buck Showalter’s staff. That being said, we don’t really have any tangible reason to expect that Willie Randolph will make any sort of significant difference in Charm City.

Unless of course he could play first base and hit 40 home runs.

Of course, the Orioles were looking at Victor Martinez to do those things, right? Ummm…..

5. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Victor Martinez passed on O’s offer, signed with Detroit Tigers

Argh.

As I said this morning, I’m not going to give Andy MacPhail a pass here. If everything we’ve been told is true (the O’s offered 48 million and Martinez accepted 50 million in Motown without giving the O’s the chance to counter), I hope MacPhail learned a lesson.

That lesson is that no player REALLY cares about the team’s late season growth under Showalter and their decent young nucleus.

REAL players want to win and want to make money.

Simply competitive offers won’t get it done. The team is going to have to OVERPAY.

The Tigers themselves had to do it to get Magglio Ordonez and Ivan Rodriguez a few years back. It didn’t seem like smart business at the time, but it eventually helped the Tigers reach the World Series.

They knew what they had to do to get players. Andy MacPhail and the Orioles will have to do the same thing this year.

6. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Birds chose not to offer arbitration to Koji Uehara, Kevin Millwood

Obviously Millwood was never coming back, but I don’t know what to make of the Koji decision.

The good news here? With one (or both) of these guys gone, maybe the team can consider F.P. Santangelo…..’s future wife Michelle McLaughlin. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

santangelo

7. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Cliff Tucker lead way with 15 points as Maryland topped Delaware State at Comcast Center

A lot of folks were upset that last night’s tilt with the Hornets wasn’t available on TV.

Don’t be upset. You didn’t miss a DAMN thing.

This one was never pretty, and seemed downright strange in the second half. DSU actually outscored the Terps 33-32 after halftime, but that was mostly because Gary Williams decided to play with some strange lineup combos, including one stretch where he had nothing but reserves on the floor.

Berend Weijs had a nice night last night. I don’t think Berend Weijs is REALLY an ACC player however. Then again, I didn’t think Dave Neal was an ACC player either.

Maryland returns to action Friday night against Elon, Luke Jones will host a “Turtle Power” live chat during the game.

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins OL Pete DeSouza hoping to return from accident in time for spring practice

This would be a very cool story if it were to play out that way. There was a thought that DeSouza’s football future wasn’t guaranteed in ANY way when he suffered the accident.

Should he return in the spring, it could provide a MAJOR lift to the entire program.

9. The AP says Aric Brooks scored 17 points to lead Morgan State past Western Illinois in Cancun

Kudos to Todd Bozeman and the Bears. If I was in Cancun, I’m not sure how focused I would be on the task at hand. Then again, the “Palace Arena” might help to humble me…

arena

A ballroom. An effing ballroom. Unbelievable. Eh…you’re still in Cancun.

10. The AP says Michael Harper lead way with 21 points as Coppin State topped UMBC as CSPEC

A couple of games today featuring local teams. Morgan plays a second game in as many days at the Cancun Challenge, as they face North Florida. Towson hosts Navy tonight at the Towson Center-that game tips at 7. Loyola visits Mike Lonergan and Vermont, that game tips at 7 as well.

And if all of that isn’t enough, here’s a picture of Monica Leigh, too! (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

monicaleigh

And finally, I leave you with this.

The Miz won the WWE Championship?!?!? AWE.SOME.!!!!!!!!!!!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmiF16nE9YI[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 04 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because Lil’ Wayne is getting out of prison today (or at worst in the next 36 hours). If you don’t know, I LOVE me some Weezy…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV2ssT8lzj8[/youtube]

…so much so that it inspired my greatest Halloween costume EVER…

weezy

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ray Lewis disappointed Shawne Merriman won’t be headed to Charm City

That being said, I never REALLY thought Shawne Merriman was coming to Baltimore. We knew John Harbaugh and company weren’t putting in a waiver claim for a guy whose career has been marked by injuries and ineffectiveness in recent years; and I always thought there would be another NFL team that would want “Lights Out” more.

But I NEVER thought it would be the Buffalo Bills.

This is the part where I’m supposed to say, “As far as the Ravens are concerned, they’ll be fine.” Unfortunately, I have no idea if they will or won’t be. They’re 24th in the NFL in sacks right now, and there’s no simple solution for how the number will improve.

But I don’t think Shawne Merriman would have made the difference in-season.

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Zbikowski missed practice Wednesday

And everything points to the idea that Zbikowski won’t play again Sunday when the Ravens face the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens will be okay at safety with Ed Reed healthy. The other question is punt return, where there was hope that WR Donte’ Stallworth could step in immediately as he is expected to return from a broken foot Sunday.

However, Stallworth was not on the field during the Special Teams portion of practice Wednesday. That doesn’t mean he still couldn’t be involved, but it makes you think that maybe the team is trying to limit how much he does in his first game back.

Should Stallworth not be an option, the job would presumably be Lardarius Webb’s against the Fins.

3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Matt Birk a bigger fan of St. Paul restaurant than Randy Moss

Should this really be considered Ravens “news”? Eh…probably not.

But does this particular subject reach home with me.

I mean, this would be like me arranging catering from The Fullerton Pub & The Down Under Restaurant only to have Ryan Chell go off about not liking the food.

My initial thought wouldn’t just be “how dare you?”. My initial thought would really be something along the lines of “what kind of idiot are you? This food is delicious!”

4. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Joe Flacco gets to gauge himself against fellow ’08 NFL Draft selection Chad Henne

This is actually a very unique couple of weeks. Not only does Flacco get to gauge himself against Henne, but he also gets to gauge himself against Matt Ryan in two weeks at the Georgia Dome.

And it isn’t just the quarterbacks, either.

These two weeks will be a good gauge for the entire team, as everything about the Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons is similar to what the Baltimore Ravens are these days.

They’re balanced. They have young QB’s. They have coaches who are in their 3rd year and have experienced success early in their careers.

And I’m gonna go out a limb here, but I get the feeling they’re also all three teams who enjoy this picture of Melissa Giraldo. (Thanks DJMick via Busted Coverage!)

melissag

5. USA Today’s Jim Corbett says Ozzie Newsome may have put together best O-Line, D-Line combo in NFL

And before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things…

-We’ll be back out at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today; and we’re expecting to hear from coordinators Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison and Jerry Rosburg. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST and following us on Twitter @WNST throughout the day.

-Did you miss Ravens FB Le’Ron McClain with Drew Forrester Thursday 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 things you can find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Karl Alzner (Washington Capitals Defenseman)-who talked puck with Drew Thursday morning
  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Thursday
  • David Pollack (Maryland/Miami Color Analyst-ESPNU)-who previewed the showdown between the Terps and ‘Canes with Drew Thursday
  • Plenty of audio from 1 Winning Drive Wednesday-including John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice and Terrell Suggs
  • Scott Miller (CBSSports.com)-who talked MLB offseason with Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • John Czarnecki (FoxSports.com)-who went around the NFL with Rex Wednesday
  • Tom Brattan (Maryland O-Line Coach)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for “The Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Steve Henson (Yahoo! Sports)-who wrapped up the World Series and talked hot stove with Thyrl Wednesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”

It’s all there in the Audio Vault, so once again-your day is planned. I can’t believe how good I am to you…

6. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Orioles will hire Wayne Kirby as 1B/Outfield coach

Is there any chance he could still steal 25 bases for the Birds this season?

Or could his brother (Terry Kirby) could return punts for the Ravens?

Otherwise-I don’t really know how much it means to have Wayne Kirby as 1st base coach. Maybe he’s a GREAT addition, maybe he’s just an addition. It’s hard to really make a statement like that at this point.

It IS kinda cool to have a first base coach whose baseball cards I definitely collected a ton of however.

7. MLB.com’s Bryan McTaggert says O’s could spend more money at 1B in offseason than any other position

Once again-problem pinpointed. Now-can we just find a damn solution already?

Unfortuantely, I don’t think Kassie Lyn Logsdon will be an option-even if she would have been the team’s best bet. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

logsdon

8. ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Miami RB Damien Berry will miss Saturday’s game against Maryland

This is starting to get frightening.

How could so many things be going against the Hurricanes going into this game?

Randy Shannon said there’s a 75% chance that Jacory Harris won’t play Saturday, and their top RB is out Saturday as well.

I would STILL remind everyone that Miami has MUCH more talent than Maryland, but this continued good news really makes me think Maryland might actually have a chance.

A chance. Let’s not get carried away.

But if Jacory Harris and Damien Berry were healthy, I’m not certain I would have given them much of a chance at all.

9. LoyolaGreyhounds.com says Jimmy Patsos’ team opens season with exhibition contest vs. Shepherd tonight at Reitz Arena

I dated a girl who went to Shepherd. I know way more about Shepherdstown, West Virginia than I’d ever want to admit. There’s a Clarion Inn there. Don’t ask me any follow up questions to that statement.

For the record, the girl I was dating was NOT Raica Oliveira. If it was, you could ask me as many follow up questions as you wanted. (Thanks Guyism!)

raica

10. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says new facility needed to save horse racing in Maryland

Build a track downtown. Nab the city’s slots license and pair them together. Make it NICE. Sorta like what David Cordish is doing at Arundel Mills…

There’s no reason why this HAS to be the death of horse racing. It just has to be the death of business as usual. That’s tough for a lot of folks to understand…

And finally, I leave you with this.

Am I a nerd if I want to go see Megamind this weekend? It actually looks kinda cool…

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 03 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because it’s time to name “The Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.”

As I posted on Facebook last night, the retro version of TGSOATTW is the song “Wounded” by Third Eye Blind. There will never be a day when the song won’t mean the world to me…

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

As far as the NEW version goes, I also showed my hand on Facebook last night. (A reminder that you can be my friend on Facebook by searching “Glenn Clark” and adding the goofy guy in the pink shirt who is dancing at a wedding.)

When we look back on 2010 in the future, there is no doubt in my mind that we will remember it as “The Year of Cee-Lo Green.” For as great as “F*** You” is, there’s something even more amazing about “Old Fashioned”…

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says future of horse racing in jeopardy as David Cordish wins Anne Arundel County slots vote

Well…now we know.

I’m completely torn on this entire situation.

On one side, I ABSOLUTELY think David Cordish will create a world-class facility. I think it will be outstanding both on the interior and the exterior; and I think it will attract money from both inside the Old Line State and from elsewhere. His track record makes me believe he’s going to do a hell of a job.

On the opposite side, I also think the vote is an unquestioned blow to the state of horse racing in Maryland-at least for the short term. Immediate slots revenue at Laurel might not have been the BEST solution for the future of the sport in the state, but it was probably the best option right now.

The issue now is all about what the Maryland Jockey Club and MI Developments do moving forward. They’ve stated that this will mark the end of live racing at Laurel Park, with Pimlico instead hosting 40 days of live racing in the Spring.

While that might be a necessary move, it clearly isn’t the best option for the sport. The MJC (and MID) will have to go back to the drawing board and consider other options. Is it time to shift focus to a new track? Is it time to explore options for slots in Baltimore? Is it time to think about how the facilities could be better used?

I do not believe this has to be the final nail in the coffin for the sport in the state. But I DO believe it has the potential to be if the folks involved aren’t willing to immediately change course.

It’s going to be an interesting stretch over the next few months.

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says John Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome would be interested in Shawne Merriman if he clears waivers

Here we go…

I’ll say this much. If I was the GM of the Ravens, I’d pass on “Lights Out.” I think risking a roster spot in season on a guy whose career has been marked in recent years by injuries and ineffectiveness is a questionable judgment at best.

But I’m not saying that because I believe the team doesn’t have pass rush problems.

The team has MAJOR pass rush problems-there’s absolutely no question about that. I’m worried that there might not be an in season fix for the Ravens.

But I DON’T think the answer should include taking a risk on a player who is surrounded by more question marks than the book “Are You My Mother?”

Now-could Shawne Merriman end up in Charm City? Maybe. There’s almost no chance any NFL team claims him off waivers, so he’ll be available. If he passes a physical and is humble enough to understand that he isn’t the Pro Bowl player he was at the beginning of his career-maybe he’s a fit.

It certainly doesn’t smell like it though.

3. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens not interested in Randy Moss

We knew this-but now we don’t even bother having to mention it anymore.

The Ravens aren’t interested in Randy Moss…even if they should be. To me, this is one of those “right player, wrong time” situations.

Randy Moss would be the PERFECT compliment to Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and Donte’ Stallworth (I’ve never thought TJ Houshmandzadeh was a logical fit myself); but it’s not something that can be forced.

If the Ravens had an offseason to meet with Moss and discuss his role and what their expectations were for him-they might be in a place where they could feel more comfortable in adding him to the mix. But adding a player like that in the middle of the season is dangerous.

But then again…

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

4. National Football Post has Ravens 4th in power rankings

Which seems about right, considering Sarah Longbottom was ranked 3rd. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

longbottom

5. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark lists Haloti Ngata amongst NFL MVP candidates

And a few things before we move on from the Ravens…

-A reminder that we will be out at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today, as the Ravens return to the practice field. John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco and others are scheduled to meet with the media following practice-you’ll hear from them throughout the day on AM1570 WNST and at WNST.net.

-Did you miss Greg Gumbel with Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? He’ll be at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday to call Ravens-Dolphins for CBS. Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out! Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault today include…

  • Lomas Brown (ESPN)-who went around the NFL with Drew Wednesday
  • Craig Calcaterra (“HardballTalk”-NBCSports.com)-who wrapped up the MLB season with Drew Wednesday
  • KC Keeler (Delaware Football Coach)-who previewed the Blue Hens’ visit from Towson Saturday and talked Joe Flacco with Drew Wednesday
  • Reed Harris (WEC GM)-who discussed the UFC/WEC merger and the future of both companies with Thyrl Nelson and John Rallo Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
  • Kirk Hinrich (Washington Wizards Guard)-who discussed the start of NBA season in DC with Thyrl Tuesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Steve Johnson (Bowie Baysox Pitcher)-who talked about his former San Francisco Giants teammates winning the World Series with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Nate Davis (USA Today)-who went around the NFL with Rex Tuesday
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault. See what I did there? I planned your day for you again. This is getting a bit ridiculous.

6. The AP says Orioles declined option on reliever Mark Hendrickson, give him $200,000 buyout

So long Mark, we’ll always have the memories…

Like….ummm….

In all honesty, Hendrickson was serviceable at times, and was downright EFFECTIVE for stretches against left handed hitters.

I don’t think anyone is crying for the guy when he walks away with $200,000 either. What a nice life that must be…

7. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Juan Samuel apparently coming back to Birds

I will admit that I’m surprised. I’m not stunned, but I’m surprised. I thought Juan Samuel made a statement about what he was going to do moving forward when Buck Showalter was hired-so I didn’t expect him to end up back in Orange and Black.

Of course, Samuel likely thought there was a chance he could end up filling one of the managerial vacancies around Major League Baseball. Clearly this news means that he’s not in the picture for the Pittsburgh Pirates job, and the Milwaukee Brewers decided to go elsewhere when they hired Ron Roenicke yesterday.

As it appears that he’s coming back, hopefully he’ll be able to make a contribution. Sadly, I don’t think that contribution will be 30 home runs.

8. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says corner infield power bat, shortstop, starting pitching biggest areas of need for O’s

Like Dan Aykroyd said to Chris Farley in Tommy Boy, “Great kid, you’ve identified it, the next step is washing it off.”

Andy MacPhail knows what the team needs-now he just needs to go get it.

No problem, right?

Can I add one more name to the Orioles’ shopping list this offseason? I’d like for them to add Jorgie Porter. (Thanks Guyism!)

jorgieporter

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland preparing for either Jacory Harris, Stephen Morris to be under center for Miami Saturday

This is a MAJOR question mark.

Against some teams, the dropoff from starter to backup wouldn’t be the most significant situation facing an opponent.

But if the Terps don’t have to face Harris when they play the Hurricanes Saturday, it is UNBELIEVABLY significant.

It doesn’t mean they’ll win. But it DOES mean they’ll have a chance, which I wouldn’t think they’d have if Harris played.

10. The Diamondback’s Conor Walsh says Terrapins women picked up double double from Alyssa Thomas en route to exhibition blowout over Gallaudet

The inappropriate joke of the day would be something along the lines of “Well-at least the Bison players didn’t have to hear any trash talk from the Terrapins at Comcast Center while they were losing…”

I wouldn’t say that though, because I’m not inappropriate.

Exhibit A: It would be inappropriate of me to NOT pass along this picture of Sofija Milosevic. (Thanks Totally Crap!)

sofija


And finally, I leave you with this.

This is the end of a real live Canadian Football League game. Honestly. I don’t understand any more than you do (Thanks Deadspin!)…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5BFaykcxGg[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 06 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I again get to name a couple of “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.” I live for this stuff.

The NEW TGSOATTW is “Runaway” by Kanye West and Pusha T. He did the song on Saturday Night Live this past weekend…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaGT26DZFdE[/youtube]

And here’s the RETRO song…John Lennon’s version of “Stand By Me.” I saw a commercial last night for the “Power to the People” issue that’s hitting stores and it featured this song prominently. His version is REALLY underrated…

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

Of course, the greatest EVER version of “Stand By Me” is the one the Playing For Change gang did…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Ravens cut CB Prince Miller, signed OL Scott Kooistra

This was clearly the move Ozzie Newsome and company had intended to make to get Trevor Pryce back this week. Of course, that was before Rex Ryan (rightfully) jumped in.

Scott Kooistra likely won’t be active Sunday when the Ravens face the Denver Broncos. If I’m guessing-unless there’s an additional injury along the O-Line, Scott Kooistra doesn’t get active at all this season. But he does give the Ravens some flexibility, which is much needed at this point.

As far as Prince Miller is concerned, the team wanted him on the practice squad when they originally cut the roster to 53. Unfortunately, the New England Patriots stepped in. It looks like they’re going to make it work this time; which will allow the undersized corner to develop; and will give them a reserve returner should Tom Zbikowski (and/or others) get hurt.

Logical decision. Not life-changing, but logical. I could use a lesson in this type of decision-making.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says OT Jared Gaither not cleared to play in visit to California back specialist

So…more good news, huh?

The word is that after visiting Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles; Gaither is “improving”, but will remain week-to-week.

GREAT.

John Harbaugh and company will eventually have to make a tough decision regarding Gaither. If he doesn’t REALLY show improvement in terms of getting back on the football field (one day of limited practice doesn’t represent improvement), they’ll have to consider placing him on Injured Reserve.

If I’m guessing, Jared Gaither will play for the Ravens at some point this season. But I’m certainly not getting the type of response that makes me feel good about that guess.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says DE Paul Kruger confirmed to miss at least two weeks

He’ll be missed, as Greg Mattison will have to flip around Haloti Ngata, Cory Redding and Brandon McKinney to adjust to not having Kruger.

And since the Ravens could use the help at rush end, I have to suggest they consider Lucia Dvorska. I mean…just take a look. (Thanks Guyism!)

dvorska

4. ESPN.com has Ravens 6th in power rankings

As we discussed on the show this morning, this is particularly tough. The reality is that power rankings JUST DON’T MATTER. Like…at all. This isn’t college football’s AP poll. Power ranking can have no bearing on what happens in the NFL whatsoever.

But with that being said, it is ABSOLUTELY a bit goofy that the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets are ranked ahead of the Ravens despite the Ravens having defeated both teams on the road this season.

Not getting worked up about it. It simply doesn’t matter. It’s just a bit goofy, that’s all.

5. b’s Matt Vensel says RB Willis McGahee romantically linked to “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star

So now you know.

A couple of things before we move on from the Ravens…

-We’ll be out in Owings Mills today, as the Ravens return to work at 1 Winning Drive. We’re expected to hear from Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Ray Lewis and others; as well as conference calls with Kyle Orton and Josh McDaniels. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates throughout the day.

-Make no mistake-the Pats trading Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings for a 3rd round pick is GOOD NEWS for the Ravens. They’re much better off not having to face Moss when they wander up to Foxborough for a Week 6 showdown at Gillette Stadium. It doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily win, as the Pats will STILL have Tom Brady under center-but it does make matchups a bit more in the Ravens’ favor.

6. MLB.com’s Thomas Boorstein says Adam Jones believes ‘accountability and credibility’ reasons why Orioles improved under Buck Showalter

The question is-why does Adam Jones think there wasn’t accountability under Juan Samuel or Dave Trembley? If he’s simply trying to blame those managers and not accept responsibility for himself and his teammates, he’s not being fair.

The other question is-why was Adam Jones touring Bristol, Connecticut; New York; and Seacaucus, New Jersey Tuesday? Why was Adam doing appearances on MLB Network, ESPN Radio and SI.com?

Is it because the O’s have such a hold of the Charm City market that they simply don’t need the promotion? It’s good promotion for ADAM-no doubt about that. But how did it help the Birds?

It’s a legitimate question.

7. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester gives highest O’s grades to Ty Wigginton, Luke Scott, Jeremy Guthrie and Corey Patterson

As I told him this morning, it’s a bit laughable to give Ty Wigginton and Corey Patterson the same grades as Luke Scott and Jeremy Guthrie; but I’m all for Drew looking dumb.

My highest grades this year? They mostly went to Molly Simms. (Thanks Don Chavez!)

mollysimms

8. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec and Dan Connolly say Juan Samuel to interview with Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates

I’ll be rooting for Juan Samuel…but my guess is that he’s not REALLY a good manager. It will be much harder if he ends up in the Steel City than if he ends up in Milwaukee too.

Did you miss former Orioles broadcaster Buck Martinez (now with TBS) previewing the Rays/Rangers series and talking playoffs in general with Drew Forrester Wednesday 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. Other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Jeff Passan (Yahoo! Sports)-who went around the postseason and also discussed his new book “Death of the BCS” with Drew Wednesday
  • DJ King (Washington Capitals enforcer)-who previewed this weekend’s start to the regular season with Drew Wednesday
  • Jon Ladd (Baltimore Municipal Golf)-who discussed Ryder Cup and breast cancer awareness with Drew Wednesday
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Josh Thomson (Strikeforce fighter)-who previewed his Saturday night clash against JZ Cavalcante in San Jose with Thyrl Nelson and John Rallo Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
  • Pete Prisco (CBSSports.com) and Gary Mihoces (USA Today) who each joined Thyrl Tuesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to discuss what they saw at Heinz Field Sunday

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so I’ve got your day planned out again for you. YOU’RE WELCOME BALTIMORE!!!

9. Winston-Salem Journal’s Dan Collins says Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe won’t pick starting QB between Tanner Price and Skylar Jones for Saturday’s Navy game until later in the week

No matter who plays QB for the Demon Deacons, Ken Niumatololo’s Midshipmen MUST get going offensively. This was supposed to be the best group of talent they’ve had since the Roger Staubach era. It hasn’t looked like it thus far…

10. UMTerps.com says Maryland soccer topped #2 UConn as Ludwig Field

Awesome. But then again, awesome is basically what we expect from Sasho Cirovski’s Terrapins.

To celebrate a big Terps win, here’s a completely unrelated picture of Jewel Santini! (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

santini

And finally, I leave you with this.

Thanks to both former WNST intern Meredith Morris and my sorta-roommate Aubrie Veydt for pointing this out on Facebook (search Glenn Clark, add the best looking guy you find). I think the kid’s name is Keenan Cahill. He’s a YouTube superstar.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVSsYvC6O8s[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 29 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I get to start the week out with the “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.” The NEW version of TGSOATTW goes to Eric Church (the song is called “Guys Like Me”) because I saw the dude play Sunday night at Merriweather Post Pavilion with my girl, you know her as “Boomer Sooner”. (Yes, I went to WPOC’s “Sunday in the Country”, live with it.) He’s pretty freaking good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7CsKVSDIcU[/youtube]

And the retro version is also “Sunday in the Country”-related, as it was covered by headliner Lady Antebellum. While they’re very talented and played a very enjoyable show-including a decent cover-Lady Antebellum certainly isn’t Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lWJXDG2i0A[/youtube]

Before we move on-let it be said that the great Free Fallin’ cover of all time was done by John Mayer…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20Ov0cDPZy8[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Ravens WR Derrick Mason has happiness in own hands

I couldn’t agree more.

This isn’t about Cam Cameron finding a way to get the ball to Derrick Mason more. It isn’t about Joe Flacco making sure the ball ends up in Mason’s hands. It certainly isn’t about whether or not Anquan Boldin is showing the proper respect to Mason as far as leadership in the locker room.

This is entirely up to Derrick Mason.

If Derrick Mason needs to be a #1 receiver for a good NFL team in order to be happy, he’s not going to be happy ever again. That time has come and gone. Frankly, he was only still the #1 receiver in Charm City by default in recent years-as there simply wasn’t anyone else in town.

Derrick has done a VERY good job over the years as the #1 receiver in Baltimore. Fans in this area will always be grateful for that. But he isn’t that guy anymore, nor will he be ever again barring some sort of terribly unfortunate injury.

If being a good receiver on a good team is enough for Derrick to be happy, he’ll be fine. If it isn’t, it could be a terribly long season.

But if Derrick thinks that by being a malcontent he’ll become the team’s top receiver again, he’s out of his mind.

I THINK he’s smarter than that.

2. The AP’s Alan Robinson says Pittsburgh Steelers will start QB Charlie Batch Sunday vs. Ravens at Heinz Field

And as I said yesterday on Twitter (follow us @WNST), if I’m the Ravens-I’m okay with that.

With no offense to Charlie Batch, but there’s nothing about him that would concern me if I was Greg Mattison. That doesn’t mean the Ravens don’t have to play good defense on Sunday, it just means he doesn’t present any sort of dynamic level that Ben Roethlisberger or Dennis Dixon could have.

Of course, Charlie Batch can still win football games-especially for a team as good as the Pittsburgh Steelers. We saw that Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s still capable even if he isn’t necessarily dynamic.

But he’s NOT the type of quarterback that should be beating the Baltimore Ravens. Doesn’t mean he won’t, just means he shouldn’t.

3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ray Rice took to Twitter to proclaim knee ‘better’

And since this clarifies absolutely nothing, let’s plan on discussing this again tomorrow.

In the meantime, you know who else has knees that look “better”? Sherri Tiara Lansang. (Thanks F-Listed via Busted Coverage!)

lansang

(Edit from GMC: I’m kidding. Who the hell knows if Sherri Tiara Lansang has any knees?!?!?)

4. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall ‘poses repeat threat’ for Ravens

Before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things…

-The Ravens return to the practice field today at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills. We will be out there to report on Ray Rice, Cory Redding and EVERYTHING going on today. We’re expected to hear from John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco for sure; as well as conference calls with Mike Tomlin and Rashard Mendenhall. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570, following us on Twitter @WNST and checking WNST.net for updates.

-The Ravens HAVE terminated the contract of Trevor Pryce and re-signed safety Ken Hamlin. Stunning news despite the lack of production from Pryce this season. We’ll have more throughout the day on this developing story.

-Did you miss Jim Nantz (CBS) this morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Jim and Phil Simms are calling Ravens/Steelers Sunday; and Jim told us they’ll have Ravens/Patriots in Foxborough as well. Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today if you missed it! Other things you can find in the Audio Vault include:

  • Rob Ambrose (Towson Tigers football coach)-who previewed Saturday’s showdown against UMass with Drew Wednesday morning
  • Mike Bires (Beaver County Times)-who updated Drew on all things black and yellow from the Steel City
  • Leonard Garcia (WEC Fighter)-who joined Thyrl Nelson and John Rallo on “The MMA Report” Tuesday
  • Dario Franchitti & Will Power (IndyCar Series drivers)-who previewed Saturday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami with Thryl on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Tuesday
  • Gary Graves (USA Today) and Eric Edholm (Pro Football Weekly)-who talked Ravens and all things NFL with Rex Snider on “The Afternoon Drive” Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault-so enjoy your afternoon. Don’t ever say I haven’t done anything for you…

5. The AP’s Fred Goodall says David Price masterful as Tampa Bay Rays beat Orioles at Tropicana Field to clinch playoff spot

David Price HAS to win the Cy Young Award, right?

I know some folks are going to say “Felix Hernandez leads the American League in everything”…but I guess those people think 13-12 doesn’t matter. I think Hernandez belongs in the discussion, but I’m pretty sure his record would leave him third on my ballot behind Price and Jon Lester.

As far as the O’s are concerned, they got worked over by a really good pitcher last night. That’s going to happen to a lot of teams. If they win one more game this week they’ll avoid 100 losses. I think they’ll do that. Once they do, who cares what else happens?

By the way-spare me the “maybe it was good for the young players to see the Rays celebrate in front of them” stuff, MASN. Who freaking cares? Every player-old or young-wants to be able to pour champagne on their teammates. They don’t need to see it in front of them to understand that.

6. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of loss

Brad Bergesen had been pitching really well for awhile until that last night. 5IP, 5ER, 6H, 3BB, 2K. Not good. Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters doubled; but that was about it. Tough night for Adam Jones-he went 0-4 with a pair of K’s.

You don’t want to look at the numbers. Trust me on that. Instead-look at Ancilla Tilia. We’ll still be here when you get back. (Thanks Macenstein!)

macenstein

7. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli & Bill Chastain say Andy MacPhail, Buck Showalter visited new Spring Training facility in Sarasota

Before we move on from the Birds, a couple of things…

-The Birds and Rays wrap up their 3 game series tonight in St. Petersburg. First pitch between Kevin Millwood and Jeff Niemann is at 7:10pm, the game can be seen on MASN2.

-Apparently they’re giving away 20,000 tickets at The Trop tonight. I’d settle for just having to ever see Dick Vitale again if I were a fan of the Rays.

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland QB Jamarr Robinson “limited”, Danny O’Brien likely to start against Duke

My gut feeling is that this is for the best. The longer Jamarr Robinson can’t play because he’s still recovering, the easier it is for Ralph Friedgen to move Danny O’Brien into the starting QB role long term.

Really, I don’t care WHO plays quarterback. Just don’t lose to the Blue Devils. Not again anyway…

9. The Sun says Cincinnati Associate AD Mike Waddell to be named Athletic Director at Towson today

Here’s what former Bearcats LB Brad Jackson said about the news when we passed it along on Twitter yesterday…

“Towson will definately be better with Michael Waddell as A.D.! He was huge in taking Cincy to next level!”

I hope he’s right.

10. Daily Racing Form’s Matt Hegarty says 1998 Preakness and Kentucky Derby winner dead at 15

In other horse racing news, former Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra has been retired from racing and will be bred to another great champion in Curlin. Must be a nice life there-Curlin.

In other news that’s much more significant to me-here’s a picture of Selita Ebanks. (Thanks Guyism!)

ebanks

And finally, I leave you with this.

Here’s the Katy Perry SNL “Sesame Street” spoof everyone is talking about. Now I’ve passed it along…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qP81EElmWY[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Maryland’s Good Karma Completely Gone After Loss to West Virginia

Posted on 18 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

MORGANTOWN, WV — The trip to Morgantown is a bit different than a visit from Morgan State.

The Maryland Terrapins (2-1) were completely dominated by the West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0) Saturday,  31-17 at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. The game was not quite as close as the score would indicate, as Maryland trailed 28-0 early in the 2nd half.

Maryland was outplayed in every aspect of the game, with the only exception being a solid performance by punter Travis Baltz-who also kicked a field goal in defeat. The Terps briefly made things interesting in the 2nd half thanks largely to two long Torrey Smith TD grabs, but the ‘Eers easily snuffed out the potential Maryland rally.

The loss isn’t particularly devastating from a football perspective for Maryland, as West Virginia is a very good team (ranked #21st in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll) and the game was played on the road. Should Maryland knock off Florida International next Saturday at Byrd Stadium (as they are expected to do), they would improve to 3-1 and need just three ACC wins to get bowl eligible this season. With Duke coming to College Park the following week, Maryland still has a realistic chance to start the season 4-1. They also showed improvement over the team’s last visit to WVU; a 45-24 beatdown suffered in 2006.

But for other reasons that may be slightly less tangible, this loss was particularly devastating for this Maryland team.

With a last second win over Navy in Baltimore to open the season and a blowout win over Morgan State in College Park, the Terps had already matched their 2009 season total in wins through just two weeks. With the Navy thriller being seen by a national TV (ESPN) audience on Labor Day, there was a measure of positive karma surrounding Head Coach Ralph Friedgen’s squad that was desperately needed.

The decision to retain Friedgen (and Offensive coordinator/Head Coach in waiting James Franklin) following the disastrous 2-10 season was not met with any level of real excitement. Interim Athletic Director Randy Eaton told the Baltimore Sun before the Labor Day battle at M&T Bank Stadium that the program had sold less than 19,000 season tickets this season. Two wins over in-state programs weren’t going to suddenly spike ticket sales, but they did offer hope that a foundation could be laid for a turnaround season.

That foundation didn’t crumble entirely, but it certainly wasn’t built open in Morgantown. It wasn’t just that Maryland lost the game; but also that they put together a completely woeful performance in the process.

Maryland was bad in (almost) every aspect of the game. They allowed eight sacks offensively, a record for the Friedgen era. In the process, QB Jamarr Robinson injured his shoulder (not believed to be serious-he stayed in for the entire 2nd half) and QB Danny O’Brien re-aggravated an ankle injury with forced him out of the game. OT Justin Gilbert was also hurt in the process. Maryland doesn’t know the full details of the injury, but Friedgen said Gilbert “heard a pop”, and the team believes the injury to be significant.

The Terps were not able to get anything going on the ground, finishing the game with -10 net rushing yards. They put together 227 yards via the air; but 140 of them came on the two long TD passes to Smith.

Defensively, Maryland was unimpressive throughout. The Terps allowed West Virginia to amass 469 yards of total offense, 24 first downs and 11 of 18 third down conversions. The first two TD passes from Geno Smith to Tavon Austin (Dunbar) were particularly ugly,  as Friedgen admitted defenders “blew some assignments” to help the ‘Eers establish an early 14-0 lead.

Even more disheartening was the lack of discipline the Terrapins showed. Maryland committed 10 penalties for a total of 77 yards, including three delay of game penalties on their initial possession. Offensive coordinator James Franklin said the penalties occurred because the team “couldn’t hear the cadence” from Robinson; but that certainly doesn’t excuse such a poor drive.

Things could very well turn around for this Maryland football team this season. They won’t play many opponents who will be as difficult as West Virginia (only Miami jumps out as a similarly dangerous opponent), and the mistakes they made Saturday afternoon are correctable. The bigger issues will come off the field. Instead of igniting support within a fanbase that is anything but passionate; this performance will likely ignite responses like “Friedgen can’t do it” or “Franklin isn’t good enough.” What’s worse, this type of performance might not elicit any sort of response whatsoever.

Frankly, with the game on ESPNU and the outcome lopsided-the fanbase in the Old Line State might not even think about Maryland football.

That’s the biggest problem incoming Athletic Director Kevin Anderson faces with the football program.

The good karma from the first two wins is completely gone. Maryland football became Maryland football again Saturday in Morgantown.

For the program to survive under “The Fridge” past this season, performances in big games like Saturday’s cannot continue. Maryland can’t simply win games against the likes of FIU and Duke and hope to win over a fanbase, they must go out and perform like a team worthy of recognition against more significant opponents.

That didn’t happen Saturday.

-G

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Hear from Friedgen and Franklin following Saturday’s loss NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 15 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because it is “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” time!

My NEW “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” comes with an explanation. “Boomer Sooner” and I spent the weekend in New York, and as you’d expect from a gal who grew up in Texas and went to school in Oklahoma, she’s a fan of country music. I will admit to having a soft spot for the genre myself. With that in mind, this week’s winner is Eric Church’s “Smoke a Little Smoke.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb1S467ck1c[/youtube]

And the RETRO version of the “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” was decided Friday night-when the great John Popper and Blues Traveler took the stage at Power Plant Live. I mean, is there ANYTHING greater than “Run-Around”???

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ousaiByU1ko[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says John Harbaugh does not expect Todd Heap to miss any time after suffering shoulder injury in win over New York Jets

Clearly that’s good news. While Heap was MIGHTY impressive hauling in the first down pass from Joe Flacco on the Ravens’ penultimate possession Monday night at New Meadowlands Stadium, it could have been costly. Being labeled the top play in NFL Week 1 action by ESPNews probably wouldn’t have been as meaningful had Heap been unable to take the field Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

It’s important to keep Heap on the field because his presence alongside Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and TJ Houshmandzadeh forces the Bengals to stay honest with their outstanding CB’s (Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph). The matchup problem is exactly what the Ravens need.

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Nakamura, Josh Wilson, Lardarius Webb will ‘compete’ for nickel CB job

Apparently the Ravens had decided back around the Washington Redskins preseason game that Nakamura would be able to handle the role. That helps explain (at least to some extent) why the team had no trouble parting ways with CB Travis Fisher, and why they felt the need to hang on to veteran S Ken Hamlin.

Nakamura had no troubles against Mark Sanchez and the Jets Monday night, but he really wasn’t tested. I feel as though Wilson or Webb would be better long-term options, but the Ravens clearly appear to have at least some sort of comfort level with Nakamura.

It will be especially interesting to see how Cary Williams fits into this mix when he returns. He’s not really the best suited to cover slot receivers, but appeared to earn real playing time with his performance in the preseason.

3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens waived IR players David Hale, Stefan Rodgers

We’ll always have the memories…of David Hale’s facial hair…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RK-Y7Bn7Bw[/youtube]

If the Ravens need to fill the roster spot, I’d think Jeri Lee would do a fine job (Thanks Gorilla Mask!)…

jerilee

4. The Sun’s Matt Vensel says Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco fighting with Le’Ron McClain, Willis McGahee on Twitter

And before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-Harbaugh told the media yesterday that he had no update on rookie LB Sergio Kindle, adding he “wished” he did. He also said he thought Webb had a chance to play against the Jets, and thinks he’ll have a chance to play Sunday as he continues to work his way back from a torn ACL.

-The Ravens return to practice today in Owings Mills as they prepare for Sunday afternoon. We’ll be live at 1 Winning Drive with coverage throughout the day on AM1570 WNST, on Twitter (@WNST), and at WNST.net. Harbaugh, Flacco, Ray Rice, Ray Lewis, Derrick Mason and others are expected to address the media this morning; and Marvin Lewis and Ochocinco are scheduled to hold conference calls with the Baltimore media this afternoon.

5. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Nick Markakis and Adam Jones homered as Orioles blew out Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

It’s goofy to even talk about-but if the Birds were to face the Minnesota Twins in a 7 game series starting tomorrow; does anyone else get the feeling Buck Showalter’s team would figure out a way to win?

I don’t just want the Buck Showalter t-shirt they were giving away last night, I want a Buck Showalter Fathead!

I feel like a broken record though-as I can’t think of anything else to say besides “why couldn’t this have happened when games mattered???”

I wasn’t watching again last night. Not because I don’t love the Orioles, but because the games just don’t matter. I played kickball last night, enjoyed a medium Angel Food from Smoothie King for dinner, then watched the MTV Video Music Awards (or fast-forwarded through them) on DVR. Eminem was pretty good…

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

I hope the games will matter in September 2011.

6. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of win

Markakis and Jones homered; Luke Scott, Ty Wigginton and Robert Andino all doubled, and Matt Wieters was 3-5 with a run scored and a RBI.

On top of that, Jake Arrieta threw six shutout innings.

Everything about the numbers is good. Go look at them. Then come back and look at Diana Falzone. We’ll call it a “win-win”! (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

falzone

7. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals to visit Charm City in 2011; O’s to visit Pittsburgh Pirates, Atlanta Braves, Nats

I guess there’s something exciting about Albert Pujols coming to OPACY next season; but I’d be plenty happy if Pujols DIDN’T play-but we were instead excited to see the Orioles play.

Do you think Nelly would make the trip with the Cards? I’ve always thought he (and his band-aid) were kinda cool.

nelly

8. Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Birds not concerned about injuries to Brian Matusz, Brian Roberts

And before we move on from the Birds, a few things…

-The Orioles will try to finish off a sweep of the Jays tonight; first pitch from The Yard is at 7:05pm, you can see it on MASN2. Phenom Kyle Drabeck makes his first career start for Toronto, he’ll face Brad Bergesen.

-Did you miss SiriusXM MLB Network Radio analyst and former Catonsville pitcher Jeff Nelson on “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester this morning? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net today to check it out. Other things you can find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Dan Graziano (Fanhouse)-who was in attendance for the Monday Night Football contest in East Rutherford and chatted with Drew about the Ravens and Jets Wednesday morning
  • Pete Caringi (UMBC Soccer Coach)-who previewed tonight’s contest with La Salle at UMBC Stadium
  • Albert Breer (Boston Globe), Barry Barnes (Fanhouse), Brian Billick (Fox Sports/NFL Network), Clark Judge (CBS Sports), Tom Pedulla (USA Today), Tommy Polley (Former Ravens/Dunbar LB)-who all recapped Ravens/Jets during the day Tuesday with Rex Snider and Thyrl Nelson
  • Tuesday’s weekly press conference with John Harbaugh from 1 Winning Drive

It’s all in the Audio Vault-PLUS THERE’S MORE-so your day is planned. AGAIN. I’m much too good to you…

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland, West Virginia extend football series through 2017

A slew of other Terrapins football-related notes via Patrick:

-Within the WVU series, the Terps will host back to back games at Byrd Stadium in 2013 & 2014; they’ll visit Morgantown back to back in 2015 & 2016

-Rob Stone and former Georgia Bulldogs/Cincinnati Bengals LB David Pollack will call Maryland/WVU this Saturday for ESPNU.

-Maryland will be without LB Marcus Whitfield for the rest of the year due to a knee injury. TE Will Yeatman is expected to be ready to return from a broken finger Saturday.

-Maryland and Florida International will kick off at 12pm next Saturday (September 25) in College Park. The game can be seen on ESPNU. It isn’t a great option, but it’s better than the alternative-which is no TV at all. If Maryland keeps winning, they might see some better TV options.

That’s a lot of information for one day. If I were you, I’d consider making a donation to the “keep Patrick Stevens working fund” over at D1scourse…

10. The Sun’s Sandra McKee says Pam Shriver to hold final event at 1st Mariner Arena November 17

This sucks.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed Pam’s involvement with the community and her partnership with this event since its inception. I’ve been thrilled while watching events with the likes of Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Andy Roddick. Even last year’s event with Melanie Oudin, John Isner and the Bryan Brothers was a lot of fun.

It’s a shame American tennis has fallen off the map. It’s a shame 1st Mariner Arena is an absolute dump and folks in general don’t want to attend events there. It’s a shame Pam’s life has had twists and turns and she’s been taken to California.

I hope there will be future tennis events in Baltimore. I hope Pam Shriver will be involved.

Trice Capra is a natural fit to be involved with the last event, but there’s a certain someone else I’m also hoping to see…

wozniacki

Or Andy Roddick. Either one.

And finally, I leave you with this…

Congratulations to Sasho Cirovski’s Maryland soccer team for a 3-0 win over the Loyola Greyhounds last night at Ridley Athletic Complex. To celebrate, here’s DK…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJlcu4J2MWg[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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