If you listened to Friday’s edition of “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net (and I’ll assume you did, I mean, what else would you have been doing?), you’ll know that in honor of the “Sweet 16″, we had a sweeter edition of the program. (See what I did there?)
In fact, the Zone Superstore Studios looked like this at one point…
I’m aware that Box Hill Pizzeria crab cakes aren’t an Easter candy, but they might as well be-right?
We put together our first ever “Easter Candy Basket Bracket Throwdown Showdown 2013″ during the course of the afternoon. There was heated debate, but via social media (Facebook/Twitter) and radio, we were able to dwindle the group of 16 all the way down to the semifinals.
The semifinal round pleased me, as my votes were ultimately the winners.
Our championship round is now set. We need you to vote now!
Cadbury Creme Egg vs. Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs
You know how I feel about this particular sight…
The Creme Egg has narrowly advanced in each round, by no means have they been the “Louisville” of our bracket.
There has been a vocal minority that has suggested the inclusion of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs is unfair because the candy is essentially no different than a traditional Peanut Butter Cup. To them I say simply, “you’re right” and you have every ability to vote accordingly.
My vote will be with the PBE’s, and I counter your point with the following point…
…and also with the fact that I’ll assume there’s more peanut butter egg than blood in your body at this point.
Your championship round is set. Please chime in with your votes. We’ll announce the winner Tuesday at 3pm just before the Orioles’ season opener against the Tampa Bay Rays. I would encourage you to stop by your neighborhood Royal Farms store and indulge in your own favorite Easter candy.
Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour Tampa Bay Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday 1:30pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on NBC Sunday 1pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on NBC), Champions Tour Toshiba Classic (Saturday 2:30pm Sunday 3pm from Newport Beach, CA live on Golf Channel), LPGA Tour RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 4pm from Phoenix, AZ live on Golf Channel); Auto Racing: NASCAR Food City 500 (Sunday 12pm from Bristol, TN live on FOX); Tennis: ATP Tour WTA Tour BNP Paribas Open (Tuesday & Wednesday 1:30pm Thursday 1:30pm & 10pm live on Tennis Channel Friday 6:30pm & 9:30pm live on Tennis Channel 4:30pm & 11:30pm live on ESPN2 Saturday 3pm & 5pm live on ESPNNews 8:30pm live on Tennis Channel Sunday 3pm & 5pm live on ESPN2); College Football: Towson Pro Day (Tuesday Unitas Stadium), Maryland Pro Day (Wednesday Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium); Boxing: Timothy Bradly vs. Ruslan Provodnikov (Saturday 10:15pm from Carson, CA live on HBO); Women’s College Basketball: NCAA Tournament Selection Monday (Monday 7pm live on ESPN)
A day before free agency began and after a weekend where it was reported that the Ravens asked top wideout Anquan Boldin to restructure his contract, the team officially washed its hands of the problem by trading the 10-year veteran to the San Francisco 49ers for a sixth-round pick.
The move was first reported by the Baltimore Sun, and ProFootball Talk said the Ravens were looking to ship him to get Boldin’s 7.5 million dollar cap number and six million dollar base salary off their books.
For 2013, WNST’s Luke Jones says the Ravens will only have 1.5 million in dead money for 2013 regarding Boldin’s contract.
The Ravens reportedly had asked Boldin to take a pay-cut of nearly two million dollars in the last year of his contract according to several sources-despite Boldin saying this weekend in Arizona that he would play under his current deal this season with the Ravens.
Boldin, who spent the last three years with the Ravens after coming over from the Arizona Cardinals, was a big part of the team’s Super Bowl XLVII run this season in which the receiver caught 22 balls for 380 yards and four touchdowns in the playoffs.
Wow, that was one fun afternoon for the Washington Capitals and their fans.
In vintage 2008 form, Alexander Ovechkin took over Saturday’s matinee with the New Jersey Devils exploding for three goals and an assist in a 5-1 Caps victory. The Gr8 has been playing extremely hard over the last 13 games but until today’s tilt, he wasn’t getting the results on the scoresheet to correspond to that effort. That all changed in this one, perhaps having fiancee Maria Kirilenko in attendance for the first time all season brought him good luck?
Whatever the case, when Ovechkin is on, in my book he is still the most exciting and explosive player in the NHL. He may not be the MVP, like he was in 2008 and 2009, but when he is skating, shooting, and hitting he can still lift you right out of your seat. Or as the NHL Network’s Craig Button once said several years ago after attending a Caps game for free, “Where do I pay for the performance I just watched?!”
Certainly the fans in attendance got their money’s worth and more today, thanks to Ovechkin along with many of his teammates. It was easily the best game this struggling club has played all year and they finally knocked off a team in the top eight spots of the conference (now 1-8-1, h/t @SkyKerstein).
The Caps stayed out of the box yielding only three Devils power plays and a penalty shot. Two of those infractions were of the delay of game variety, something that Coach Adam Oates has to address going forward. But Washington scored shorthanded on Eric Fehr’s tally in the third period and the Caps power play clicked two of the three times it was on the ice. Anytime you go +3 in the special teams department, chances are pretty good you will win via a lopsided margin.
It was pretty much a complete performance and Braden Holtby had another superb game in the cage, including thwarting a Steve Bernier penalty shot in the middle frame. #70 is now 4-2 and has a .9255 save percentage in his last six games. As I said a week ago Friday on the air on WNST 1570 AM Baltimore in my session with Thyrl Nelson, host of the MobTown Sports Beat, I am a big believer in Holtby and his abilities.
Other standout performances on Saturday came from Matt Hendricks, whose pass to Ovechkin on his second goal was a thing of beauty and started the third period onslaught; Karl Alzner, who was superb at both ends of the rink; and Mike Ribeiro and Nicklas Backstrom for the outstanding passes and center ice play.
Still, this one was all about Ovechkin and his explosive performance. The Gr8 took over this contest like he did so many times from 2008 to 2010 when Washington was dominating the Eastern Conference. The Caps, who don’t have nearly the talent on their roster now as they did during that period, will need a lot more of these type of outputs to turn this 6-10-1 season into a “2008-like” magical run.
But that is a topic for another day. So for the rest of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday just enjoy the victory and rewatch the highlights of the Gr8 show, because games and individual performances like the one Ovechkin displayed today are what makes watching sports a special experience.
Notes: Mike Green missed his 3rd straight game due to a groin injury. Tom Poti took his place in the lineup…Washington won the faceoff battle 36-25, the 6th straight game the Caps have done that. Coach Adam Oates was arguably the best faceoff man ever so his influence appears to be rubbing off on the center ice men…the Caps next play on Tuesday at home against the Carolina Hurricanes before visiting the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
This has been my first full year in the great world that is sports media/journalism and I have learned a lot along the way, both good and bad. If and when Ravens101 and Orioles101 gets large enough to cover expenses to attend and cover the biggest weeks of their respective sports on location, I now have the perfect example to go off of thanks to WNST!
WNST, Nestor, Drew, Luke, Glenn and everyone involved with WNST did a remarkable job covering the Super Bowl from New Orleans the past couple weeks. Forget the remarkable packages that Nestor and WNST set up for fans, which in itself was a remarkable feat to pull off the way they did, but their media coverage was unbelievable.
I know that WNST goes down every Super Bowl, whether or not the Ravens are in it or not, but what they did is nothing short of remarkable and we as fans and listeners of WNST should be extremely thankful. The countless guests they had on their shows from Frank Caliendo to Emmitt Smith and everyone in between provided us listeners with great audio, interesting insight and the abundance of laughs that help get us threw the work day.
I will admit, that I occasionally listen to other stations, but without question, none, and I mean NONE of the other stations covered the Super Bowl, or even the Ravens, with the class, quality, and also quantity that WNST did. I am thankful to be a fan of two of the greatest professional sports franchises in sports, as well as all of our local college and soccer teams, but I am more thankful to be able to listen, read, and chat with the crew at WNST.
Please join me in giving WNST a HUGE pat on the back, and more importantly, an even BIGGER THANK YOU for everything they brought us during Super Bowl week and beyond!
NEW ORLEANS, La. — Remember that time when I asked Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco that thing?
I’m sure you remember it. If not, I’m happy to refresh your memory…
Oh right. NOW you remember. I asked Joe Flacco if he thought he was a “Top 5″ NFL quarterback (which had been a hot offseason debate), and he responded by telling me he thought he was THE BEST quarterback in the National Football League.
I bring this conversation back up because it seemed like everyone ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET wanted to remind you of those comments every time Flacco had a moment this season that may have been slightly more “down” than “up.”
During the week, Flacco’s comments to WNST were featured prominently in the coverage NFL Network and ESPN gave in New Orleans. On Sunday, the comments were part of the pre-game package that aired on CBS.
The comments became such a prominent part of the narrative surrounding the Ravens’ fifth year starter that it almost reached the point where you couldn’t make commentary about Flacco without including them. You would either hear “sure, Joe Flacco had a good game-but let’s not forget he thinks he’s the best quarterback in football and he most certainly wasn’t today” or if he struggled perhaps you’d hear something along the lines of “when Joe Flacco plays like this it becomes more and more laughable that he considers himself the best quarterback in football.”
Instead of judging Joe Flacco on his numbers or the Ravens’ record, it became increasingly popular to judge him based on a legitimate answer to a throwaway question presented in the context of a charity radio event at a local bar.
Joe Flacco told me something else that night back in April over in Perry Hall that didn’t get nearly the same amount of publicity. It’s equally worth remembering, however. Fast forward to the 7:30 mark of the above video.
“Everybody wants to go back and forth-’we’re this kind of team, we’re that kind of team.’ Well, you know what kind of team we need to be? We need to be a Super Bowl champion team.”
He added “I love winning and I’m going to continue to win no matter what our numbers are.”
I’m starting to think we should have taken this sentence and carved it into stone for prosperity.
Joe Flacco very much so continued to win this season after making those comments. He won double digit regular season games once again, a second AFC North title, a first AFC Championship and Sunday night capped it with a SPARKING Super Bowl MVP performance to win his first ever Vince Lombardi Trophy. Of course, the numbers in the postseason came WITH the winning, as Flacco put together a Joe Montana-esque 11 touchdown, zero interception stretch over four games. The final three TD’s came against Montana’s former team, the San Francisco 49ers, inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVII.
So now I put it right back to you, Baltimore Ravens fans? Is Joe Flacco a Top 5 NFL quarterback? Is he the best quarterback in football?
Or perhaps you’re really thinking to yourself “this doesn’t even matter.” That’s essentially what your quarterback is thinking.
“I’ve never cared. I don’t ever want to feel like I’m in a position to defend myself” the quarterback said after hoisting the Lombardi Trophy Sunday night. “It’s not right. I don’t have to do that. We’ll have (the Super Bowl win) forever.”
That’s the answer. It doesn’t matter. It didn’t matter in April. It didn’t matter when the season started. It absolutely didn’t matter in the postseason. It will not matter at all moving forward.
Joe Flacco is a great NFL quarterback. There’s simply no doubting that at this point. Whether that means he’s Top 5, Top 10 or the best quarterback in the game-I’ll leave that for you to decide.
The comments everyone in Baltimore and around the country should have cared much more about were the comments about needing to be the type of team that can win a Super Bowl title. The comments everyone in Baltimore and around the country should have cared more about were the comments about a guy caring much more about winning than numbers.
It shouldn’t have taken a magical postseason run for Charm City to fall in love with this quarterback. It shouldn’t have taken a magical postseason run for many national commentators to realize the guy could really play quarterback and had changed the culture of one of the more successful franchises in the league.
Perhaps Monday would be a good day for those of you in Baltimore that haven’t started fawning over your quarterback yet to start doing so. I’d stop a bit shy of “hero worship”, but I’d make your love known.
I haven’t even bothered with throwing out the word “elite” yet. That one doesn’t matter either. (But the answer is now YES for those scoring at home.)
I’m grateful Joe Flacco had the bravado to step up and tell me he thought he was the best quarterback in football last year. I think that bravado served him well in leading the Baltimore Ravens to their first Super Bowl title in 12 years.
I’m significantly more grateful that Joe Flacco always cared so much about winning. It made for an unforgettable weekend on the Bayou for this particular Baltimore native.
It’ll be a sea of purple at Woldenberg Park in New Orleans on Saturday, Feb. 2nd between noon and 5 p.m. as WNST hosts it’s Super Saturday Bash right along the banks of the Mississippi River.
If you have purchased the WNST “Super Purple V.I.P Party Pass” or are already on our WNST Super Trips, you’re already coming along with us but this two-hour cruise with amazing views of New Orleans and beyond is now available for all Baltimore Ravens fans coming into town for the game.
We’ll open the gates for all Baltimore Ravens fans at noon with music from Bobby Nyk.
THIS EVENT AT “THE PURPLE PARK IS FREE ADMISSION FOR ALL FANS!!!!!
AND THIS IS CHILDREN/KID/FAMILY FRIENDLY!!!!!
THIS IS THE SAME LOCATION FOR OUR SUNDAY PURPLE RALLY TO HONOR RAY LEWIS & MARCH MARDI GRAS STYLE TO THE SUPERDOME AT 2:52 p.m.!!!! SUNDAY’S EVENT IS ALSO FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!!!!
Cold beer, lunch items and purple revelry will be served from noon til 5 p.m. as we enjoy a great afternoon in New Orleans.
For those who want to come on the Mississippi and cruise with WNST.net and former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick, the boat sails from 2:30 til 4:30.
The party is FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC — but the Mississippi cruise and lunch with Coach Billick is $60.
For all “party only purchasers”: We’ll have will calls set up in New Orleans at each of our evening events beginning Friday night at Empire (300 Decatur) from 6 til 10pm and again on Saturday from noon til 2 p.m. at Steamboat Nanchez doors (Toulouse at The River). We’ll also have will call at Saturday & Sunday Howlin’ Wolf events right at the front door.
You’ll have an envelope and a wristband for your purchase. If you have a multiple-day pass, you’ll have a vinyl band that’s non-transferable.