Tag Archive | "Westminster"

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Will the Ravens return to Westminster for training camp next year?

Posted on 30 November 2011 by WNST Audio

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Hopkins Finishes Regular Season Undefeated After Win Over McDaniel

Posted on 12 November 2011 by WNST Staff

WESTMINSTER, MD – The 10th-ranked Johns Hopkins football team withstood its biggest challenge of the season on Saturday as the Blue Jays came from behind three times to knock off rival McDaniel, 28-24, at Bair Stadium. The win secures the first undefeated regular season in school history for the Blue Jays, who improve to 10-0 overall and 9-0 in the Centennial Conference with their 15th consecutive victory. The hard-luck Terror finish the season at 2-8 with six of the eight losses by eight points or less.

Johns Hopkins, which had already secured the outright Centennial Conference title and the league’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Playoffs, will find out on Sunday night who it plays in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The Blue Jays will be making their third trip to the NCAAs under head coach Jim Margraff, who improved to 147-78-3 in 22 years at Johns Hopkins.

The Blue Jays trailed 21-14 late in the second quarter after a four-yard touchdown run by McDaniel quarterback Nick Valori. Working the two-minute offense to perfection, the Blue Jays needed just five plays and 39 seconds to go 70 yards with senior Hewitt Tomlin capping the drive with a 28-yard scoring strike to fellow senior Sam Wernick to account for a 21-21 halftime tie. Tomlin was 5-of-5 and passed for all 70 yards on the drive.

The Blue Jays took the lead for good – and their first lead of the game – midway through the third-quarter when they went quick-strike again, this time covering 89 yards in just four plays and less than 90 seconds. After a pair of runs netted nine yards and a 16-yard pass from Tomlin to sophomore Dan Wodicka gave the Blue Jays a first down at their own 34, Tomlin connected with freshman Matt Berry on a 66-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-21.

As if a rivalry game that dates back to 1894 didn’t have enough emotion, the game’s intensity jumped dramatically after the touchdown and a series of physical plays that ended in front of each team’s bench took emotions to a level not seen during Johns Hopkins’ current 11-game winning streak over the Green Terror.

A 30-yard field goal by Jake Nichols late in the third quarter drew the Terror to within 28-24, but that would be the final scoring in the game.

Johns Hopkins had two golden opportunities to extend the lead, but a pair of turnovers near the end zone ended both threats. Tomlin had a pass intercepted in the end zone by Tim McLister on the next-to-last play of the third quarter to end a 10-play, 59-yard drive that ate more than four minutes off the clock. The Blue Jays later moved the ball from their own nine-yard line to the McDaniel 35 before Tomlin hit Wernick on the outside and he raced towards the end zone before Sam Cox caught him from behind and forced a fumble that went through the end zone for a touchback with just over five minutes remaining.

The Blue Jay defense forced a quick three-and-out on McDaniel’s ensuing possession and the Blue Jays were able to run out the final 4:23 of the game to seal the win and secure the undefeated regular season.

McDaniel, playing with nothing to lose, capitalized on the first of six Johns Hopkins turnovers early in the game as the Terror recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff and sophomore Joe Rollins scored on a one-yard run six plays later to stake McDaniel to an early 7-0 lead.

The Blue Jays answered late in the first quarter when junior Jonathan Rigaud swept around right end and raced 28 yards to the end zone to make 7-7.

That score lasted for less than three minutes as the Terror punched one in on the defensive side a short time later. After JHU forced a quick punt after Rigaud’s touchdown, the Blue Jays took over at their own nine-yard line. On the first play after the punt, Tomlin was hit as he threw and Sean Lajoie caught the fluttering ball at the JHU 12 and raced into the end zone to give the Terror a 14-7 lead.

Hopkins answered right back with a solid 12-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by a 19-yard touchdown run by senior Nick Fazio. The Blue Jays converted three third-down opportunities on the drive, which took nearly four minutes.

Valori’s touchdown run came eight minutes later and was answered by the Wernick’s touchdown reception just before halftime.

Tomlin was 35-of-47 for 484 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The 484 yards are the second-highest total of his career and the second highest in school history. In the process, he became the first player in school and Centennial Conference history to top 10,000 career passing yards as he now has 10,257.

Wodicka and Wernick both topped 100-yards receiving as Wodicka had 13 receptions for 159 yards, while Wernick had eight catches for 110 yards and the one score and became just the second receiver in school history to top 3,000 career receiving yards as he now has 3,023.

The Blue Jay defense held McDaniel to just 286 yards and was led by junior Taylor Maciow and senior Michael Milano, who both posted nine tackles on the day.

Rollins rushed 27 times for 136 yards and the one score, while Valori was 9-of-19 for 107 yards and added the rushing touchdown before being knocked from the game in the third quarter.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 08 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Pro Wrestling: TNA Turning Point (Sunday 8pm from Orlando live on Pay-Per-View); Golf: Australian Open (Wednesday-Saturday 8pm from Sydney live on Golf Channel), LPGA Tour Lorena Ochoa Invitational (Thursday-Sunday 4pm from Guadalajara, Mexico live on Golf Channel); Auto Racing: NASCAR Kobalt Tools 500(Sunday 3pm from Phoenix live on ESPN); Women’s College Basketball: Loyola @ Maryland (Friday 7pm Comcast Center), Georgetown @ Maryland (Sunday 2pm Comcast Center); Tennis: ATP Tour BNP Paribas Masters (Tuesday 5am Wednesday & Thursday 4:30am  Friday 8am & 1:30pm Saturday 8am Sunday 9am from Paris live on Tennis Channel)

10. Foo Fighters/Social Distortion (Friday 7pm Verizon Center); Daughtry (Saturday 7:30pm Patriot Center); Everlast (Wednesday 7pm Recher Theatre); Howie Day (Saturday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); Chuck Brown (8pm & 11pm Rams Head on Stage); Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (Wednesday & Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Fitz and the Tantrums (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club), Manchester Orchestra (Monday 6pm 9:30 Club); Rockapella (Thursday 8pm Strathmore); Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience (Thursday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Sting (Thursday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall), Kansas (Friday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall), 3 Doors Down (Sunday 7pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Joe Bonamassa (Friday 8pm Hippodrome)

My buddy Chad Lamasa and I are headed to see the Fighters of Foo Friday night. He got the tickets, so I have to bring the Mentos. They kick a little ass…

I REALLY shouldn’t enjoy Chris Daughtry, but I totally do. I wish he was bringing Timbaland to Fairfax with him…

Fitz and the Tantrums are one of my absolute favorite bands of 2011. Before you watch a video of them playing with Daryl Hall, let’s debate whether it would be more fun to spell favorite “favourite”. I say yes.

If you’re not stoked for Rockapella, you and I disagree on the topic. I respect your feelings however.

9. Pauly Shore (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Michael Ian Black (Saturday 9pm Ottobar); Maryland Irish Festival (Friday-Sunday Timonium Fairgrounds); “J. Edgar” out in theaters (Friday)

I believe Pauly Shore was voted “Most likely Hollywood star to be playing at a joint called Magooby’s Joke House in the future” 15 years ago. I’d call his fall from stardom surprising if it was. It isn’t.

Meanwhile Leonardo DiCaprio was voted “Most likely Hollywood star to be releasing another awesome movie this week” about 10 minutes ago. He’s so freaking good. The J. Edgar Hoover movie looks incredible, but it would take a lot of work for someone to make a movie half as good as “Catch Me If You Can”…

I’m going to do my best to come by the Irish Festival Saturday. Mostly because I want to eat a meal that resembles this…

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Ravens announce free practice downtown on Saturday, Aug. 6

Posted on 28 July 2011 by WNST Staff

The Baltimore Ravens will conduct a free practice for fans at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 6, with the session beginning at 10 a.m.

Also free of charge, parking lots for the event open at 8 a.m., and fans may park in Lots A, B, C and G. Cold tailgating will be permitted in all lots.

Admittance to the stadium for the general public will be through Gates A and D, which open at 9 a.m. No ticket is necessary to attend the event.

One year ago, when the Ravens had a franchise-record 112,051 fans attend training camp practices, 17,851 people filled M&T Bank Stadium for a practice. The largest crowd ever for a stadium practice marked 36,016 fans during the 1998 training camp, when Ravens fans entered the then-new stadium for the first time.

“We love the energy Ravens fans bring to a practice,” head coach John Harbaugh stated. “We look forward to being in front of them on that Saturday.”

This year’s stadium practice, connected by Verizon Wireless, will feature the following interactive fan events and performers:

·       Local celebrity emcees in the stands and on-field, providing full reports of activities and player/coach insight
·       Interactive games, including inflatables and a Ravens Rookies Kids area
·       Face painters, caricatures and a photo booth in the family fun area
·       Autograph signings from Baltimore Football Alumni
·       Autograph signings and meet-and-greets with the 2011 Ravens Cheerleaders
·       The Ravens’ official mascot, Poe
·       Baltimore’s Marching Ravens Pep Band
·       Unique memorabilia at the Ravens Rummage Sale
·       Ravens Team Store
·       Lower level concession stands
·       Two inside ticket windows will be open near section 142 for regular season and preseason single-game sales

Visit www.BaltimoreRavens.com for more information.

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As the NFL lockout ends, the time to say goodbye to some GREAT Ravens likely approaches ....

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As the NFL lockout ends, the time to say goodbye to some GREAT Ravens likely approaches ….

Posted on 25 July 2011 by Rex Snider

As we’ve now endured more than 130 days immersed within football’s version of HELL, it appears the brink of a new season awaits us.  Vote on this, vote on that ….

Training camps are supposedly opening next Saturday morning.  That’s the latest information from a twisted saga that has taken many, many turns.

Free agency is predicted to be a frenzied period of mass signings and cuts, along with very little time for dragging out negotiations.  In other words, we won’t be tortured with weeks of whether Brett Favre is coming back or not.

The biggest free agency prizes will likely have new homes and helmets by the time I return from vacation, two weeks from today.  And, Owings Mills will most certainly be a destination for a number of known NFL talents, as well.

Did I mention vacation?

That’s correct …. as the Ravens report to Westminster-East at the franchise’s headquarters, and as the world of the NFL is turned upside down with mass rumors, tweets, speculations and ultimate transactions, I will be enjoying all the news from the comforts of a beach chair in the surf, at Dewey Beach.

Perfect timing, huh?

We’re still days away from any official windows of negotiation – we’re not 100% certain of rules and policies regarding such overtures – and names of possible casualties and additions for the 2011 edition of the Baltimore Ravens are abounding.

Who do you believe?  What do you believe?  Should you even believe this lockout is really coming to an end?

The lockout is ending.  The owners and players have long concluded this marriage won’t suffer a separation that costs either side any money.  Thus, you can bet we’re on the brink of actually seeing, hearing and talking about football and its daily drama …..

And, as we’re on the verge of a new season, the speculation has already begun.  We know the Ravens will make some painful cuts of veteran talents, while also conceding to allow some of the team’s free agents to walk away.  But, they’re likely to make some very exciting additions, as well. 

We kinda know most of the team’s needs – but, we don’t really know what Ozzie Newsome and company are thinking …. OR how they’ll go about building their vision of the best team for the upcoming season.

But, we’ve heard the rumors.

Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie, Eric DeCosta, John Harbaugh and others whom are tasked with collaborating to the choices of parting with members of “the family” are undoubtedly conflicted over a number of such decisions.  They’re human and while the heart doesn’t likely figure into the ultimate decision, its certainly impacted – especially when they leave Winning Drive and explore their conscience. 

But, it’s the business of the National Football League.

I’ll leave you with a pictorial collection of the rumored potential exits that could transpire over the next couple weeks.  Some are predictably apparent and others are a reach.  From a personal perspective, I can imagine this process is among the toughest and most agonizing for any executives.

I’ll leave it to you, the reader, to weigh in with thoughts and opinions …..

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Before we cry for Westminster and crush NFL, let us not forget what Orioles have done to Baltimore’s business community

Posted on 28 June 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

So, here’s where we call a spade a spade and separate the “righteous” from the wretched in the media. With all of the drama unfolding this week between the fans and the NFL teams in every city as the witching hour looms and there’s no labor deal and only haphazard snippets of alternating optimism and doom and gloom, I’ve remained pretty unfazed.

Let’s also call a spade a spade here and say that very few businesses in Baltimore would be greater impacted by a lost NFL season than the one I own at WNST.net. If the Ravens don’t play in 2011 the impact on my life and the lives of my employees will be devastating. It would be a virtual tsunami to my company and many others who are directly related to the NFL and fall sports in America.

So, I’m not some loud-mouthed outsider or a disgruntled fan simply throwing out an opinion, here. I’m the “affected” in this dispute between rich players and wealthy owners. And that’s before I start to discuss that I’m also a customer who buys PSL’s, all kinds of NFL purple swag and spends gobs of my hard-earned money chasing the Ravens around the country. Sports is oxygen to me — personally and  professionally — has been since I was born, really. My entire body clock and the calendar of my life revolve around sports.

The last three weeks have been very difficult on the Ravens. Unlike the baseball team, the people in Owings Mills actually care what the fans think. And they actually walk amongst the great unwashed and pump gas at the gas station and buy groceries in the supermarket and go out on the town for dinner. They hear the public sentiment above and beyond what you write on Facebook and Twitter.

The Ravens front office staff – many who’ve either had their pay cut or the threat of a pay cut over the past six months due to the labor unrest — are far more jumpy and reactionary to any news out of this maelstrom of a lockout that is now filtering down to the reality of lost money and opportunities across the board.

We’re all waiting this week for some good news but last week’s news really hit home for the tens of thousands of Baltimore football fans who make the trip up 795 and 140 a “summer rite of passage.”

The loss of training camp in Westminster is a tragedy – no doubt about it. The lost wages, income, fun, vibe, etc. is palpable. We fans feel like we’re being “punished” by the parents not being able to get along. And we watch lawyers file suits and we watch suits file press releases and we see media people reporting and Tweeting whatever birdseed the attorneys and the league honchos feel will help their cause.

It’s been a strange week. We’ve seen the Ravens fill their stadium to the brim with U2 fans and earn the city a local financial windfall in Baltimore deemed “a great Saturday night” on a Wednesday. It was Christmas in June for downtown commerce. And on Friday night, the Orioles managed a “sellout” for an inter-league game with the Reds that was won in the final stroke – a walk-off home run by Derrek Lee that set off fireworks over Camden Yards for another last-place and seemingly hopeless cause. The Orioles even had nice crowds on Saturday and Sunday and I even saw a George Foster throwback jersey at the Inner Harbor. I went through the harbor last night for a jog and saw a dozen St. Louis Cardinals caps and shirts — but sadly not one piece of Orioles swag.

I can’t help but see the city unusually filled to the brim because I live here and I love Baltimore and when it’s filled and happy, I’m filled and happy.

The Westminster situation is awful – a few weeks of commerce gone.

But before you criticize what’s clearly begging to be criticized, stop and think about what’s happened to downtown Baltimore over the last 14 years as Peter Angelos has systematically destroyed the franchise and urinated upon its history and intrinsic value to the community.

Think about the 65 nights a year downtown is virtually empty – with less than 10,000 people coming to most Orioles games. Ask the downtown bar owners and hotels and industry about the damage that’s been done here – damage that seems like it’ll never end.

When will the “traditional” (re: bought off) media examine that and write columns and tear-jerkers about what damage the Orioles have done to Baltimore?

I see it in my web traffic every June when the Orioles assume their rightful position in the cellar of the American League East and people stop calling, reading, caring. I feel it in the interest of the Orioles and baseball in general as I walk the streets from Bel Air to Severna Park, from Columbia to Towson.

So before you righteously throw Steve Bisciotti, the Ravens and the NFL under the bus for this filthy, wretched deed – and feel free to do so because what’s happened in 2011 to the NFL is awful – just remember to cry a little for the black and orange and the pain and agony of the last 5,000 days (yes, we looked it up) of empty city streets in Baltimore while Angelos sits in his ivory tower counting the hundreds of millions of dollars of profit he’s made while owning the Orioles and destroying them all at the same time.

Sure, we can pity Westminster this August.

But we must also pray for downtown Baltimore over the next decade.

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Westminster, Maryland .... a true victim of NFL selfishness

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Westminster, Maryland …. a true victim of NFL selfishness

Posted on 24 June 2011 by Rex Snider

In the wake of the Ravens announcement regarding the cancellation of training camp at McDaniel College, I have been carrying out an impassioned plea for the business community in the Westminster surroundings.

I have no direct stake in the race; no business interests or immediate family residing in the Carroll County area.

But, I do have a heart and sense of fellowship …..

At the core of this frustrating situation, from my perspective, is the reality of witnessing the very first casuaties of the National Football League’s battle among its division of owners and players.

I suppose that’s a given of “war” huh? The innocent always seem to get caught up in the crossfire – or they pay for simply being in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

I could probably spew a couple dozen analogies and clever quotes aimed at sensationalizing the plight of the Westminster business community as we’re now a couple days removed from the training camp cancellation.

But, I’ll just be blunt …..

The NFL owes Westminster.

Will Roger Goodell, along with 32 ownership groups and thousands of players see it at that way? Of course, NOT. After all, the self-serving audacity and nearsightedness of both factions have caused such a resulting problem.

Amid reports of renewed optimism and the possible immediacy of a resolution to the lockout, it appears owners and players might be championing a “deal struck” within the next week or so …..
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They’ll be certain to iron out differences regarding shared revenue, free agency, length of seasons and wage caps for rookies. But, will either side pull their head from the sand (or somewhere darker) to notice the carnage and financial loss suffered by a specific community supporting the NFL product?

Once again, no.

They’re too busy looking out for themselves.

As I said on Wednesday, this is not specifically the fault of the Baltimore Ravens organization. From the outside peripheree, we have monitored Steve Bisciotti living up to his word on how his organization would handle the crisis.

There has been no mudslinging, nor hardline public stances by ANYONE in Owings Mills. And, most Ravens players have been rather muzzled on issues, as well.

The Ravens have delivered championship-caliber football to Baltimore and its loyal surrounding of purple lovin’ communities. And, more importantly, the Ravens organization has been top notch stewards of good public relations.

The problems and associated fallout from Carroll County’s economic loss is at the hands of a bigger behemoth than the Ravens. That’s just the direct truth.

Make no mistake about it, the NFL owes Westminster’s business community some gesture or commitment of amending the upcoming loss of business.

The very businesses on and around that Route 140 corridor are symbolic and very authentic victims of the NFL’s stubborn manipulations.

As they come to an agreement, will either side step up and say, “before we nail this down, what are we going to do in helping the communities directly affected by this lockout?”

Yeah, right …. you’ll have a better chance seeing Joe Flacco, Lamar Woodley and Dhani Jones vacationing together at Disney World.

I don’t have the answers on how to help Westminster. But, I do know the NFL has an obligation to do it. Then again, they’ve probably missed living up to a number of such obligations over the last few months.

Once again, its not the direct fault, nor the direct responsibility of the Ravens to aid Caroll County’s businesses. But, saying “we’ll see ya in 2012” is not a remedy, either.

I know fans haven’t reacted much, at all. That’s typical fandom, though. Wait ’til the end of July rolls around and thousands settle for a day or two of reassembled training camp observations at M&T Bank Stadium.

Kids will get over it. Adults will get over it. But, will all the businesses that depend on a stream of revenue flowing into the Westminster business community survive it? Maybe …. maybe not.

My hearty congratulations to every member of the National Football League, in anticipation of your upcoming labor deal. It’s certainly about time. Meanwhile, it’s a shame you had to sacrifice some “small guys” in the process.

But, that’s business in America, huh?

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With 2011 Ravens training camp in Westminster history, community finally feels cruel reality of lockout

Posted on 22 June 2011 by Luke Jones

On a night in which Baltimore was abuzz with the legendary rock band U2 playing a monumental show at M&T Bank Stadium, Ravens fans took a hit unlike any they’ve felt in the 16-year history of the franchise.

With Wednesday’s announcement of the Ravens moving their 2011 training camp from McDaniel College in inviting Westminster to the inaccessible confines of their training facility in Owings Mills, the NFL lockout just became very real for fans and a local community itching for the annual return of football in late July.

The annual day trips to a Wednesday morning practice — accompanied with a stop at Baugher’s for breakfast or dessert or Harry’s Main Street Grille for lunch — will be wiped out, even as the owners and players appear to be moving closer to an agreement to end the more than three-month-long work stoppage. The economic impact on the Westminster community will be substantial as an estimated 112,000 fans flocked to the Carroll County town in late summer of 2010.

“We’re disappointed we won’t be back at McDaniel and in Westminster this summer. We delayed the decision as long as we could,” said Ravens vice president of operations Bob Eller in a press release. “There are logistics that needed to be addressed now, including McDaniel’s schedule, the [Best Western] hotel, the fields and other Ravens football functions. Right now, we don’t know dates for camp, and we’ve been forced to make other plans.”

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Those plans mean a training camp held in the Ravens’ extravagant year-round facility in Owings Mills. The team’s lease agreement with Baltimore County does not allow fans to attend practices at the complex, with parking restraints and travel infrastructure unsuitable for training camp crowds, according to team president Dick Cass.

The Ravens hope to hold “one or more” camp practices at M&T Bank Stadium for fans to attend free of charge. And Cass revealed the team has already held discussions with McDaniel College to return to Westminster in 2012 and beyond, a key revelation considering the Ravens’ contract with McDaniel expired last year.

Fans can only hope this is a one-year aberration and the Ravens make good on their stated intention to return to Westminster next summer. However, it’s no secret that many NFL teams have moved training camps to their year-round facilities in recent years, citing reduced costs and fewer distractions in preparation for the regular season.

But the lost goodwill in those cities has to be substantial compared to the priceless memories created when thousands of purple-clad fans flock to Westminster every August.

“We hope to have a full NFL season in 2011, but the current timing compelled us to make this decision,” Cass said. “We waited as long as we could, but we’re beyond the dates when we could efficiently prepare for the move to McDaniel for a normal training camp start. We do fully anticipate, however, to be back at McDaniel next summer.”

Given the organization’s upstanding reputation for always doing the right thing for the greater Baltimore community, the Ravens more than deserve the benefit of the doubt, but you never really know when dealing with uncharted territories. A smooth training camp in Owings Mills followed by a successful — even championship? — season might entice the organization to reconsider its position.

But time will only tell what the future holds for Wesminster and the Ravens’ summer plans beyond this season.

Even if a collective bargaining agreement is reached and the preseason and regular season go off without a hitch, the first real damage has been done to the fans in this fight between billionaires and millionaires.

Westminster’s local economy will suffer.

Families with financial constraints that make purchasing pricey game tickets nearly impossible will miss chances to see their favorite team in person.

And countless kids will lose opportunities to brush elbows with the likes of Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs, and the rest of their football heroes.

To this point, fans could afford to feel indifferent to the labor situation without any consequence.

The NFL draft went off without a hitch, even with the gray labor cloud hanging over the New York spectacle and the boos raining down on commissioner Roger Goodell.

Fans aren’t able to watch off-season training programs or organized team activities such as rookie or veteran minicamps that were wiped out by the work stoppage.

But a lost summer in Westminster is terribly disappointing for anyone who’s made the trip to McDaniel to see the Ravens up close and personal.

The Ravens had to make the difficult call to pull the plug on Westminster with a labor agreement still far from a sure thing despite the recent progress. I won’t beat the organization up too much given the collective role that all 32 owners and thousands of players have played in this mess.

As is typically the case in matters such as this, the fans took the major blow on Wednesday.

And it’s a damn shame.

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With lockout becoming very real, people are hurting

Posted on 22 June 2011 by Peter Dilutis

I woke up this morning to news that the Ravens may not be able to have training camp in Westminster this season. Later, the Ravens would confirm that training camp would indeed be taking place at their Owings Mills facility.

There will be no training camp held at McDaniel College.

Why not?

Because of the lockout.

No, but really why not?

Money.

Both sides of these lengthy negotiations want more money. They want more for themselves.

There really isn’t anything wrong with that. Even though the majority of NFL players are millionaires that will never need to earn another penny in their lives, there are some that do make somewhat of a modest living.

While the owners have even more money than the multi-million dollar players, they are businessmen at heart, and they are going to want what is best for themselves and best for their teams, which we cannot forget are also their companies.

I get all that. I really do. I’m not so much up in arms about the fact that both sides want something in this deal. I’m not even that upset that some talks and negotiations did in fact need to take place.

But at this point, it’s very, very upsetting to me that a deal has not been reached, and it’s starting to turn me off to these owners, players, and the NFL in general.

Just get a deal done. Screw all these lawyers, forget all the politics, and just negotiate man to man.

It’s one thing to skip a few OTA’s and mini-camps. Not having football in May and June is not going to be that huge of an issue.

But no training camp in Westminster for the Ravens? I realize I’m going from the NFL to strictly the Ravens here, but come on. Now the lockout is getting to be very real.

Westminster is going to hurt, and they’re going to hurt bad. Those 30 days between July and August are the Super Bowl for Carroll County. Restaurants, bars, gas stations, sub shops…all of these places count on the business that they bring in during Ravens training camp just as malls and QVC count on the business that they get during the month of December.

Heck, we’re hurting! We can only say the same thing about the Orioles so many times before we simply run out of things to say…or at least interesting things to say.

Baltimore is a football town. It’s Ravenstown. People in this city bleed purple. Period.

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Can We All Agree That We Just Don’t Give A Crap About Anything Vinny Cerrato Says?

Posted on 01 June 2011 by Glenn Clark

This one will earn me a dirty look or two in the future.

Then again, it might also earn me a place in the heart of Washington Redskins fans who have been pissed off ever since I (rightly) stated that John Riggins shouldn’t be filming commercials at M&T Bank Stadium.

(Of course, these are the same fans that tell me they simply don’t care about the Baltimore Ravens but then lustily booed Head Coach John Harbaugh when he was shown on screen at Verizon Center before a Washington Capitals playoff game. Losers. But this isn’t about them. I’ll move on.)

No, this is about another brilliant move by CBS Radio Baltimore at 105.7 The Fan. And before you say “Glenn, why would you bother to write about what they’re doing on another radio station?”, let me point out that this is about much more than that.

Frankly, I’ve never actually heard former Skins executive Vinny Cerrato on the air at 105.7. I am aware that he is currently co-hosting a nightly football show on the station, but like EVERY OTHER SPORTS FAN IN CHARM CITY, if I’m in the car at night in Baltimore I’m either listening to the Orioles game or my Ipod. WBAL and Steve Jobs can thank me for the respective plugs later.

A minor controversy was started in Charm City when Cerrato told Baltimore Sun writer Ken Murray the following about the fact that Ravens 1st round pick CB Jimmy Smith did not attend last week’s voluntary player workouts at Towson University.

“That’s a red flag. He should have been here.”

As I said all week on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, the criticism was absolutely baseless. The workouts were offense intensive, with QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice and WR’s Derrick Mason and Anquan Boldin using the time to get to know their new teammates and introducing them to the team’s offensive playbook. There were no Offensive Linemen in attendance and the defensive players in attendance were mostly locally-based, including Maryland native CB’s Domonique Foxworth and Josh Wilson.

Jimmy Smith is based out of California, making it at least slightly inconvenient to get to Baltimore. Rookie DE Pernell McPhee (the team’s 5th round pick out of Mississippi State) told the National Football Post he was not even invited to the workouts at Unitas Stadium. While Smith has not been made available for comment about the faux controversy, none of his teammates seemed to be upset about the fact that he wasn’t present.

In fact, fellow rookie Torrey Smith (the former Maryland WR who is also represented by Drew Rosenhaus) took to Twitter after getting word of Cerrato’s comments to say the following…

“folks need to leave Jimmy alone for not coming to workouts this week..It was mainly offensive players…he didn’t miss a thing”

Agreed.

I said two more things last week about this stupid fake controversy. One is that if there was a player who MAY have deserved criticism, it was FB Le’Ron McClain. Should this dispute between the National Football League and NFLPA result in the 2011 season being played under 2010 rules, McClain would not reach free agency and would be back in Baltimore. Given that he’s spent a lot of time in Charm City this offseason, it puzzled me that he wasn’t able to attend.

The other point I offered about the situation was that by exonerating Jimmy Smith for not being in attendance at Towson, I wasn’t trying to suggest that he might not be a bad guy. He certainly has a bad track record, and hasn’t gone out of his way publicly to rebuild his image in Baltimore since his initial press conference. In fact, I think Harbaugh made the most telling statement when he told Drew Forrester in a recent interview on AM1570 WNST, “It’s worth the risk. A lot of people had him off the board and I understand why. He’s gonna have to make wise choices.”

Jimmy Smith MIGHT be a bad guy. But he’s certainly not a bad guy because he didn’t attend the workouts last week. That really couldn’t have been more irrelevant.

This really isn’t about Jimmy Smith either though.

This is about Cerrato-who pointlessly generated traction with his meaningless comments. Comments that some of us in attendance last Tuesday at Unitas Stadium told him were baseless. Comments that Ravens LB Jameel McClain dismissed when Cerrato asked him about Smith’s absence that day.

And comments that absolutely no one in Baltimore should care about…at all. Ever.

Cerrato’s presence in Baltimore is ridiculous to begin with. As they’ve so often done before, CBS Radio has shown how little they understand about this sports market. Cerrato has absolutely no background in Baltimore and is best known for the decade plus he spent working for Dan Snyder in DC, an organization fans in Baltimore have absolutely no respect for.

What’s worse is the utter lack of success Cerrato had during his time with the Skins. The organization reached the playoffs just three times during his tenure, winning the NFC East only one-his first year (1999). They never finished with more than ten wins and were the subject of significant criticism for their failure to draft and develop talented players (three times the team had no first round pick, other picks included QB Patrick Ramsey and WR Rod Gardner) and their insistence on signing overpaid and/or aging veterans (Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders and a $100 million deal for Albert Haynesworth come to mind).

Cerrato was especially disliked by Washington fans because of the perception that his employment was based on a willingness to simply play the part for Snyder as the team failed miserably on and off the field. This was well documented in a 2005 column by the Washington Post’s Mike Wise, where Cerrato acknowledged the frustration of the fanbase. “People say I do nothing, that I only keep my job because I’m the owner’s friend” he told the columnist. “I do have a national championship ring and a Super Bowl ring, you know.”

Cerrato was accurate, as Wise pointed out at the time. He was the recruiting coordinator on Lou Holtz’s 1988 Championship staff at Notre Dame, and he was the Director of College Scouting for the San Francisco 49ers when they won Super Bowl XXIX.

That was 1994. His resume since that time is particularly unimpressive.

It’s all the more reason why Cerrato’s hiring by the folks at CBS here in Baltimore is questionable at best. Baltimore sports fans have absolutely no connection to Cerrato whatsoever, and his resume doesn’t demand for fans to respect his opinions about their beloved franchise.

Perhaps none of us should have been surprised when Sun columnist Kevin Van Valkenburg said the following about Cerrato Monday night via Twitter…

“On radio, Vinny Cerrato keeps calling Haloti Ngata: “Nuh-gah-ta.” Hard to believe the Skins weren’t better with this details man in charge.”

Lord.

It isn’t Vinny Cerrato’s fault that the folks at CBS don’t understand why he shouldn’t be on the air in Baltimore. Their Vice President of Programming (Dave LaBrozzi) is one of the biggest Pittsburgh Steelers fans I have ever met in my life. He couldn’t know what Baltimore Ravens fans want to hear because he’s…well…the exact opposite of a Baltimore Ravens fan.

An admitted Washington Redskins fan called Drew and I last week and made a very legitimate point. Should Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome retire this offseason and choose to do local market radio in Washington, it wouldn’t be hard for Redskins fans to accept him. He had a Hall of Fame career as a Tight End for the Cleveland Browns and has had arguably another Hall of Fame career as an executive.

Cerrato was a forgettable QB/WR for Iowa State and a miserable executive for a team most folks in Baltimore have a particular disdain for.

There’s no acceptable reason for anyone in this town to care about anything Cerrato thinks or says.

I’m sorry Vinny. You seemed like a nice guy when we met. I bet you’d be really good working for ESPN’s Scouts Inc. or the Sporting News War Room or an outlet like that.

But for the role of a sports talk show host who is expected to give “expert” opinions about the Baltimore Ravens is concerned, you’re simply misplaced. As your fellow CBS employee Ian Eagle would say, “It’s not a low blow. It’s just a fact.”

I know some folks who I’ll eventually have to see in Owings Mills (or Westminster or wherever something football-related happens next) won’t like this. I’m sorry. A lot of you who understand this market know I’m right. Some of you have already told me that.

And someone will probably call me hypocritical for writing 1400+ words about a subject I’m suggesting no one should care about. Perhaps they’re right. I’ll promise to never spend another sentence writing about the subject again. Probably.

But otherwise I’ll assume we’re in agreement. Moving forward, no one cares about anything Cerrato says.

Right?

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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