Tag Archive | "WNST"

Here’s why we made changes at WNST.net…

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Here’s why we made changes at WNST.net…

Posted on 29 August 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

This past Tuesday began a new chapter in my life and my media career. I’m glad you’re reading this and hope you plan to join us and stay engaged in the next phase of WNST’s evolution as my personal Baltimore radio and sports journalism brand expands and goes “old school.”

I’m very proud to own a local business that connects other local businesses and that serves my hometown and Baltimore sports fans all over the world. And I’m eternally grateful that you’ve supported me over the past 16 years.

As you might have heard at 5 p.m. on WNST.net & AM 1570, I’m going back to the basics here at the radio station but continuing to evolve with the best ongoing civic conversation about sports ever created in Baltimore. I’m now in my 31st year of “talking sports” with the community I love and I’m very appreciative to have a chance to take you along on my next journey.

Upon announcing earlier this week that we’ll be changing our WNST radio format I thought it would be better to expound upon some of the reasoning and spirit of my decision because I’ve seen the internet chat rooms and the scuttlebutt from my wife’s bedside at Johns Hopkins Kimmer Cancer Center this week and, quite frankly, I haven’t read anything that is even remotely close to accurate. And, somehow, even when I write the truth while my wife spends her 55th night in a hospital room over the past 167 days, it somehow gets twisted into something that paints me as a villain.

First, let me restate that over the past six months my wife has been battling leukemia and the side effects of a bone marrow transplant where an anonymous donor from Germany saved her life.

Do yourself a favor and read his letter to her here.

My family and our personal happiness and the prosperity of WNST – my life’s work and my sole investment on earth – is paramount for my survival amongst a ruthless bunch of corporate monoliths in the media space in Baltimore.

My love/hate relationship inside the media circle – and all of the fallout of awfulness and polarization – comes with the disappointment in the way I’ve seen the industry (and large parts of the implied integrity of the inner circle) deteriorate over the past 30 years.

All I ever wanted to do with my life was write or talk about Baltimore sports. That’s why WNST exists. I wrote nearly 4,000 words last week trying to explain why I do what I do and that still didn’t suffice for some of the nastier folks who are looking for some deep, dark secret about my intentions for my own well being and prosperity.

Somehow, saying that you’re “looking for happiness” is now subject to scrutiny and outrage? That’s insane, but then again, nothing shocks me anymore.

This all started with me wanting to get a press pass in Dundalk in 1984 and working at The News American and The Evening Sun before venturing solo into an already dinosaur AM radio business model in 1991 and a world where the political machinations and advertising world are so perversely incestuous, it’s as much of a miracle that WNST exists after 16 years as it is that my wife’s life was saved by an anonymous 21-year old donor in Germany.

I covered the long odds for our survival in last Friday’s blog.

WNST exists because of the local businesses and their owners who have supported me and my endeavors, events and spirit. It exists because my audience has

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A personal note for all friends, fans and supporters re: changes at WNST

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A personal note for all friends, fans and supporters re: changes at WNST

Posted on 22 August 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

SIXTEEN YEARS AGO, DURING THE SUMMER of 1998, I had an amazing opportunity to create and develop Baltimore’s first all sports radio station – a dream come true for a Dundalk guy who was a fanatic and devotee of journalism, learning and all things local sports. WNST-AM 1570 – affectionately dubbed “The Station With Balls” – was to be “all day, all night, all sports.” There were only a handful of radio stations in America that had such a format.

Roch Kubatko, now an employee of Peter Angelos and MASN, inked a mostly skeptical and mostly accurate front-page sports story in The Baltimore Sun three months after we launched. It even allowed then market-leading WBAL general manager Jeff Beauchamp and others in the marketplace to scoff at me, pile on and go on the record as giving “Nasty Nestor” very little chance to succeed. (WKDB was the original call sign for our AM signal.) You can read it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we quietly celebrated our 16th anniversary at WNST on August 3rd, and now in our seventh year of partnership with Super Bowl winning head coach Brian Billick and offering 5% of all of our company’s operating profits to The Living Classroom Foundation to benefit Baltimore youth initiatives, I can’t help but stand tall and proud of all that we’ve accomplished over the past two decades. We’ve given many aspiring journalists and sportscasters a chance to follow a dream, sit in front of their first microphone and start a career. That was my goal and dream all along – to create something great and to give others a chance that folks like me weren’t given on my way into the business.

Sure, I fought the power. If I hadn’t, nothing good would’ve ever come from my life. And I certainly wouldn’t now have the power that you’ve given me to help other people and pay forward all of those deeds and endorsements from the many who have supported me during my darkest hours.

And now, entering 2015, via the power of new media and no longer encumbered by a 5,000-watt AM radio signal with 1948 FCC rules and regulations – I’ve been given the chance to chronicle every moment of Baltimore sports moving forward in real time.

Beginning with my first broadcast in December 1991 with Kenny Albert at WITH-AM 1230, I’ve seen modern day media morph into something much larger and more useful than just “local radio.” I remember back in the 1980s when the only way the public could know what I was thinking was if my editor at The Baltimore Sun would send me on an assignment. And my byline would be in the newspaper the next day with a few paragraphs of information in black and white words. Now, every tweet, status, video and thought is instantaneous and in high definition, like something I could only then imagine on an episode of The Jetsons.

And through all of the accomplishments of my employees, our reputation for excellence and accuracy and my own personal achievements over 30 years in doing Baltimore sports media beginning at The News American in January 1984, I’m proudest of what WNST has done in the community over the years. With your help and love and support, we’ve raised nearly $1 million in goods, services, coats, food, donations, checks, goodwill, promotion, publicity and power for too many local causes to list. I’d also like to believe that we’ve helped create many magical memories for tens of thousands of Baltimore sports fans over the years. Somehow, someway, you’ve been affected by what we do at WNST and I’m very grateful to have shared that experience and to have your trust and loyalty after all of these years.

Maybe it was at Whiskey Joe’s in Tampa in 2001 or on the Natchez or during the Super Bowl march in New Orleans in 2013? Maybe you were in the upper deck at “Free The Birds” doing the right thing in 2006? Or maybe you just called in one time or met us on a road trip ­­–­ we’ve now taken over 10,000 people on trips with the Ravens, Orioles, Terps, Caps and others – or at one of our hundreds of live Ravens players shows since The Barn in 1996 that began, appropriately, with Ray Lewis.

And if we’ve made you smile, you probably have the pictures and same incredible memories that I do of all that we’ve accomplished, celebrated, discussed, grieved and protested over the years since I took the microphone on Dec. 13, 1991.

If you’re here reading this – in some way – WNST has had some positive effect on you to keep you here through all of the years. Please let me begin this note with a gigantic THANK YOU for all that you’ve done to support me – and my family – over the past three decades.

As you might have heard, I’m going through some changes in my life these days.

Today, I announced the departure of several veteran folks – Drew Forrester, Glenn Clark, Ryan Chell and my office staff of general manager Paul Kopelke and Ashley Bishoff – in effort to create a basic change in the way we’re doing content and our radio format at WNST.net & AM 1570. They came to work every day and they gave everything they had to WNST. They’re good, hard-working, honest people and I wish them absolutely nothing but the best in their future.

I also want to thank everyone who has worked at WNST over the past 16 years. Many staffers and interns have come through our doors and learned the sports media and radio business from me, and several have gone on to further careers in the business, here in Baltimore and in other markets. All of them helped in some way to build WNST and make it great.

As most of you probably know by now, my wife was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia on March 20 and this sent my life into a place I’ve never encountered and could never recommend. She’s been fighting for her life every day over the past 160 days and it’s been an honor to serve her and watch her battle cancer. Every facet of my life – and my life together with my wife – has been put on hold through her remarkable journey except for the comeback of my daily radio show, The Happy Hours, from 3-6 p.m. on WNST.net & AM 1570, which was something we planned together for many months.

Since returning to the radio on April 1 as host of The Happy Hours, WNST.net has retained 17 new sponsors directly related to me coming back on the radio on a daily basis. All of these companies stepped up to help

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1397365405000-4-12-lough

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2nd Half X-Factor: David Lough?!

Posted on 03 August 2014 by Ethan Stewart

No, this is not a joke.  This is not a drill.  David Lough could be the key to the Orioles’ playoff push and success in the playoffs.  The much maligned left-fielder has been relegated to a role of starting once a week and coming on late into games as a defensive replacement.  Expectations of the 28 year old were high coming off of a 2013 season where he hit .286 with 5 home runs for the Kansas City Royals.

Coming into this season Lough was poised to take the place of left-fielder Nate McClouth who left for the Washington Nationals in the offseason, however, a concussion limited him early on in the season and he never seemed to get his timing right at the plate.  After scuffling terribly in April and May, Lough was left without confidence and without regular playing time.

Steve Pearce and Delmon Young have pleasantly surprised with their offensive production this season in left field.  For a month of the season Steve Pearce was the most productive hitter on a team full of powerful bats.  Delmon Young has been effective whenever he has been given the opportunity to play.

However, Pearce’s hot bat has cooled off significantly over the past month and it is unknown how effectively Young would be able to play if he were forced into an everyday role.  Also he’s a bit of a defensive liability in left field and Buck Showalter has clearly tried to limit Nelson Cruz’s playing time in left-field.

The Baltimore Orioles as a collective have been in a massive offensive slump since the All-Star break.  For as potent as the starting lineup can be they’ve disappointed massively since the pseudo halfway point.  Since the break the Orioles are 29th out of 30 teams in batting average (.203) and 21st out of 30 teams in runs (52).

Last year’s home run king Chris Davis has continued to scuffle at the plate all season long.  Nelson Cruz has seen a considerable drop off in production since his incredibly hot start to the season.  Both Adam Jones and Nick Markakis have seen their batting averages drop into the .280 range after carrying batting averages over .300 for much of the season.

The lone bright spot in the lineup has been Manny Machado as he has progressed back to the impressive form he had for the majority of the 2013 season.

The Orioles have still managed to hit home runs as they rank 4th in the MLB in hr’s since the All-Star break (16).  The run-scoring problems stem from their inability to get on base and drive in base runners in key situations.

This is where David Lough enters the situation.

The Orioles need a change.  They need a spark, something that can change the momentum.

Since June, though in fairly limited playing time, David Lough is hitting .316 with 2 home runs and 9 runs scored.

It’s tough to sell Orioles fans the idea that David Lough should be in the lineup.  Most have made up their mind that he has no value to the team and many have been clamoring for his release since the first month of the season.

Forget April and May.  That should have no impact on decisions being made in August during a push for the playoffs.

The Orioles have lacked a player like David Lough in their lineup all season.  A player who wreaks havoc on the base paths by his sheer presence on first base.  Lough is the best base-stealer on the team currently.  He knows how to advance extra bases when it’s needed.  He provides much needed energy and a short swing to a lineup filled with free-swingers aiming for the fences constantly.

If the Orioles are fortunate enough to make the playoffs David Lough is exactly the type of player who can make the difference in tight games in October.

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Trayvon Reed Will NOT Enroll With UMD

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Trayvon Reed Will NOT Enroll With UMD

Posted on 01 August 2014 by Ethan Stewart

The University of Maryland Basketball Program was dealt a serious blow today as freshman center Trayvon Reed was dismissed from the team as a result of an arrest which occurred on Wednesday night.

Reed was at a 7-11 in Prince George’s County and he attempted to steal 2 candy bars and an ice cream bar by placing the items in his pockets before plain-clothes cops tried to question him.  As Reed was about to be handcuffed he attempted to flee the scene while also hitting the hand of the undercover cop.  Reed was then arrested and charged with theft of under $100, 2nd degree assault and resisting arrest.

In a statement released by University of Maryland Head Basketball Coach Mark Turgeon, “Trayvon failed to meet the standards that are required by the University of Maryland athletics department.”

Although Reed was dismissed from the team and university due to his arrest he is not the only player to leave the program during the offseason as Seth Allen, Roddy Peters, Charles Mitchell, Shaquille Cleare and Nick Faust all handed in transfer requests which were granted by Mark Turgeon.

Reed was supposed to be a part of the highly-touted 2014 freshman class along with Melo Trimble, Dion Wiley, Jared Nickens and Michal Cekovsky, however, it appears his dreams of playing for the University of Maryland have been dashed.

The dismissal leaves Mark Turgeon’s squad even more short-handed than what had previously been anticipated after the 5 players transferred away from the program earlier this year.

Freshman Michael Cekovsky and sophomore Damonte Dodd will be forcibly thrust into bigger roles than had previously been thought during the upcoming season

Dodd had a lackluster freshman season as he was unable to garner any regular playing time and was missing from games for long stretches of the season.  Cekovsky has received high praise from his coaches as well as Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.  However, Cekovsky was recruited from Slovakia so the transition to basketball in the United States could prove to be a difficult one especially in his first season with the Terps.

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Rob Gronkowski: The most valuable non-QB in the NFL

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Rob Gronkowski: The most valuable non-QB in the NFL

Posted on 24 July 2014 by Giovanni Insignares

With the news on early Wednesday morning that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was cleared for training camp, a sigh of collective relief poured over Foxboro as fans wondered if the player affectionately known as “Gronk” can stay healthy and finally return to his dominating ways. Since his debut in 2010, Gronkowski has altered the perception of the TE in the NFL. The position is no longer seen as a placeholder for agile blockers or the occasional pass catcher in the slot. TE’s are now arguably the biggest X-factor for offenses. While quarterbacks undoubtedly remain the most impactful position in the league, what is often forgotten amidst the constant arguments over whether or not a particular QB is “elite” is that the supporting pieces surrounding him are what can make or break a championship run, and Rob Gronkowski is making the case for being the most important non-QB in the NFL.

With a combination of size, speed, blocking skills, and hands that cannot be matched, along with a tendency to be the focal point of offensive game plans and defensive coverage schemes, Gronkowski has repeatedly shown that he possesses the most value for his team than any other player in the league that is not a quarterback. Gronkowski owns the NFL record for most receiving yards by a tight end in a season (1,327), most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in a season (17), and most offensive touchdowns by any player in his first two seasons (28, tied with Randy Moss). Furthermore, the Patriots’ offense has shown to be dynamic and efficient whenever he’s healthy compared to being occasionally sporadic and worrisome when he’s not. The common phrase “too big for a corner and too fast for a linebacker” is perfect for the New England game changer. Not many players can compete with the impact that Gronk has on his team.

 The player most comparable to Gronkowski, though, is New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham, and even he is not as valuable to the Saints as Gronkowski is the Patriots. Since 2010 (the year both players entered the league), Graham has played in 62 games versus Gronk’s 49, while catching 301 passes versus Gronk’s 224. However, despite these advantages, Graham still trails Gronkowski in career touchdown catches (41 to 42) and only leads in career receiving yards by 640 (3,863 to 3,223). The one factor separating these two is that the Saints offense still fires on all cylinders with their vast assortment of weapons and various schemes; New Orleans does not rely on Graham to the same degree that New England does with Gronkowski. The Patriots’ roster, on the other hand, is made up of young and injury-prone players at the skill positions. Danny Amendola still has to prove whether or not he can play a whole season, Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins have to show that they understand the system going into their second years, and Steven Ridley has to convince the coaching staff and his teammates that he can hold onto the football. This inconsistency among the various skill players on the roster underscores the significance of Gronkowski and further highlights how important he is to the Patriots’ offensive success.

As great as Tom Brady is, New England’s championship hopes rely heavily on the health of Rob Gronkowski. Without him, the Patriots’ offense is stagnant and relatively tame; with him, their offense is capable of a multitude of different dimensions. For example, during the Patriots’ Super Bowl run in 2011, Gronkowski hurt his ankle in the AFC title game against Baltimore and finished with five catches for 87 yards. Leading up to that game, Gronk tallied 10 catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns in a divisional round win against Denver. He served as a nightmare for the defense and was the ultimate game breaker for Tom Brady. However, once the ankle injury against Baltimore occurred, Gronkowski was a non-factor in the Super Bowl against the New York Giants, managing only two catches for 26 yards. Brady and the offense failed to find a consistent rhythm against the Giants in large part because New York did not have to expend much effort in defending Gronkowski, thus leaving them to roam free against everyone else and causing New England to lose another chance at the Lombardi Trophy.

Gronkowski’s impact, though, goes beyond simply catching passes; an underrated aspect of his game is his exceptional blocking skills. At 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, Gronk is a towering figure with quick hands and quick feet, giving him the ability to run block very well, thus presenting the Patriots’ offense with yet another dimension. He is capable is sealing off the edge, providing running backs with lanes to the outside and ultimately allowing the offense to churn out consistent yardage on the ground. As a result, this opens up the play action pass, forcing defenses to constantly remain on their heels and play reactionary football. With defenses going into the game already so focused on slowing down Gronkowski, the possibilities of play action make the Patriots’ offense that much more difficult to defend. Gronk gives New England so much flexibility on offense that they are almost impossible to stop. In the playoffs, the Patriots are 3-2 when Gronkowski plays[1] and 1-2 without him.  

While Gronkowski’s impact cannot be ignored, other players warrant mention in the discussion as well, such as J.J. Watt, Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Richard Sherman, and Jamaal Charles. However, unlike Gronkowski, these players do not influence their teams to the same degree. With the NFL’s continued emphasis on the passing game and its persistent focus on mismatches, the value of Rob Gronkowski only soars. In addition, no team in the NFL in the last four years has had their Super Bowl runs more deflated by the loss of a single player than the New England Patriots.

Ultimately, Gronkowski’s impact on the Patriot’s offense and on opposing defenses is undeniable. The common phrase of “being too big for a corner and too fast for a linebacker” is understatement when referring to him. He not only disrupts pass coverages, but significantly impacts the running game with his exceptional skills as a blocker, as well. Without him, Tom Brady and the Patriots are simply a good offense. With him, New England threatens to move the chains and put up points at will. If healthy, Gronkowski’s potential is limitless, and so are the Patriots’ championship hopes. Aside from the QB position, Rob Gronkowski is the most valuable player in the NFL.


[1] 3-1 if you choose not to count the Super Bowl in which his ankle injury clearly affected his play to the point that he was non-existent on the playing field.

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 is “going streaking”, you can bring your green hat

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 is “going streaking”, you can bring your green hat

Posted on 22 June 2014 by Glenn Clark

Perhaps you’ve heard a rumor that we’re celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. I know it’s been covered in most of the gossip rags, but I guess there’s one of two of you who aren’t regularly checking out “OK!” in your grocer’s aisle.

So we’re celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. To do so, we’re looking over some of the great “water cooler” topics of the WNST era and attempting to define them by putting together lists of 16. We’re calling it the #WNSTSweet16.

We already know how awesome it is, but thanks for reminding us under your breath.

We’re into Week 25 of the year-long celebration. If you’ve missed any of the first 24 weeks, here’s a great chance for you to re-live them. (The #WNSTSweet16 is brought to you by Jerry’s Automotive.)

Week 24: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 all-time American soccer players
Week 23: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore/Washington Bullets/Wizards ever
Week 22: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 all-time greatest local high athletes
Week 21: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 greatest local lacrosse players of all time
Week 20: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 most unsung Orioles
Week 19: Gary Quill-Sweet 16 all-time Maryland horse racing moments
Week 18: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 most important picks in Ravens draft history
Week 17: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 worst draft picks in Baltimore Ravens history
Week 16: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest players in Washington Capitals history
Week 15: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 games we’ve been treated to
Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

Luke Jones is back in the saddle for this week’s list.

While the summer unofficially starts in Baltimore the first day someone says to you “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”; the summer has now also OFFICIALLY started here in Charm City. With summer does indeed come heat, and with heat comes hot streaks. Speaking of hot streaks, we haven’t had a “streak”-related #WNSTSweet16 yet, have we?

You see how I did that?

This week’s topic is the “Sweet 16 All-time Local Sports Streaks”.

Clearly, when you think of local sports streaks, the number 2,632 comes to mind. Yep, the 2,632 consecutive unfunny jokes Drew Forrester has made on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction”. But Cal Ripken also had a nice little streak of consecutive games played for awhile.

Drew Brees just famously broke Johnny Unitas’ record of 47 straight games with a passing TD just recently. I imagine that might just crack Luke’s list.

What else should be on the list? Joe Flacco’s five straight seasons of winning a playoff game at the start of his career? The same streak for John Harbaugh? The University of Maryland making the NCAA Tournament for a school record 11 straight years under Gary Williams?

And who doesn’t remember Wee Willie Keeler’s’ amazing 45 game hit streak for the Birds between 1896 and 1897? I remember almost every at-bat of that magical stretch myself.

What are the others? What local high school athlete had a streak of never losing a tennis match or a wrestling match, etc. Any local pro team, college team, high school athlete or individual sport athlete from the area can qualify for the list.

Luke wants your suggestions. You can leave them here in the comments on this blog post or email him (luke@wnst.net). We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, Luke will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Drew on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. He will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday with Nestor on “The Happy Hours”.

Let’s head to the quad for some streaking! What are the greatest streaks in local sports history? Make your voice heard!

-G

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USMNT3

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WC Preview: United States vs. Ghana

Posted on 16 June 2014 by Ethan Stewart

Today at 6:00 PM on ESPN, a Group G World Cup match will feature the United States versus Ghana. This match figures to be an epic battle to say the least.

A win tonight figures to be of the utmost importance to the United States as a loss to Ghana will surely knock them out of contention in the group.

The United States is ranked higher than Ghana in the FIFA World Rankings which have the USA listed 13th worldwide and Ghana ranked 37th.  Don’t take too much from these rankings, however, as Spain is ranked #1 by FIFA’s rankings and were demolished by the Netherlands by a score if 5-1 last Friday.

Ghana has knocked the United States out of the tournament in 2 consecutive World Cups (2006, 2010) so I’m sure this USA team being led by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann will be looking to avenge those brutal losses.

Key Matchup: Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew vs. Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler

The biggest issue that the USMNT faced during their 3 warmup friendlies was the lack of chemistry and talent on their back line, more specifically between their center backs.  Both Cameron and Besler proved that they were a step ahead of the other center backs on the United States’ roster and they will be relied upon to try to hinder the offensive attack of Gyan and Ayew.

Biggest Headlines:

Why was Landon Donovan left off the squad?

Donovan simply isn’t as good as he used to be.  Is he one of the best 23 players from the United States? Probably, but Klinsmann isn’t here to put together a group of the 23 most talented players.  Klinsmann is here to assemble the best team possible that works together well.  Also the distracting question of “will Klinsmann play Landon Donovan?” is gone and the USMNT can focus solely on playing the matches.

Why did Klinsmann say that the UNSMNT don’t have a chance at winning the World Cup?

Well, because they don’t.  The United States have no chance at winning.  It simply isn’t a realistic possibility and Klinsmann is just stating the obvious.  It doesn’t mean we can’t have other goals.  Our first goal should be to beat Ghana tonight and worry about the rest later.  The task at hand is more important to think about than hypothetical situations.

Prediction: 2-1 United States

Ghana has more players that play in the better leagues in comparison to the United States.  They’ve knocked the United States out of 2 consecutive World Cups.  I think this plays into the hands of the USA.  The USMNT thrives when they take the persona of the underdog.  Personally I think that the United States will have the best player on the field in Clint Dempsey.  Dempsey will ultimately be the X-factor in this match and I think that he and Jozy Altidore will provide the goals necessary to beat Ghana.

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 will be performed “Cup-style”

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 will be performed “Cup-style”

Posted on 15 June 2014 by Glenn Clark

We’re dancing right up to the halfway point of 2014 and the halfway point of our #WNSTSweet16 celebration. In fact, we’ve been celebrating our 16th birthday for so long that it almost feels like it’s time to have our first beer.

(We’re kidding. We’ve had plenty of beers. Just like when most of us were REALLY 16.)

(We don’t by any stretch of the imagination condone underage drinking. Or underage anything else for that matter. We good?)

You HAVE to be familiar with the format by now. We’re celebrating 16 years as Baltimore’s sports media leader and we’re celebrating by taking “water cooler” topics from the WNST era and defining them with lists of 16.

You get it, right? Please tell me you get it.

If you’ve missed any of our first 23 lists this year, here’s a quick reminder of what’s been happening. (The #WNSTSweet16 is brought to you by Jerry’s Automotive!)

Week 23: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore/Washington Bullets/Wizards ever
Week 22: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 all-time greatest local high athletes
Week 21: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 greatest local lacrosse players of all time
Week 20: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 most unsung Orioles
Week 19: Gary Quill-Sweet 16 all-time Maryland horse racing moments
Week 18: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 most important picks in Ravens draft history
Week 17: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 worst draft picks in Baltimore Ravens history
Week 16: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest players in Washington Capitals history
Week 15: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 games we’ve been treated to
Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

Every time Drew Forrester is assigned a particular #WNSTSweet16 topic, I can confidently expect to hear the following from him.

“I think I’m going to do something a little bit different.”

We imagined doing a bunch of local lists this year, and with Drew’s experience as the former General Manager of the Baltimore Blast-I thought he’d want to look over the all-time greatest local soccer players during the World Cup.

I was wrong. Drew was thinking bigger than that. With the World Cup underway, Brazilians flopping and Italians coming up clutch (Cats and dogs living together?), Drew wanted to do something a bit more in tune with the Cup.

We’re very much in a golden age of American soccer currently. Despite the fact that FIFA delivered the USA into the “Group of Death” in Brazil, there’s hope Jurgen Klinsmann’s team can reach the knockout round again when they get underway Monday against Ghana. (Shameless plug-I’ll be watching the match at Buffalo Wild Wings Bel Air with our friends from Freedmont Mortgage. You should be there.)

Our topic this week is the Sweet 16 “Greatest American Born Soccer Players of All-Time”. And quicker than you can say “Landon Donovan”, remember that goalkeepers count too.

It would be hard to imagine Donovan and current American keeper Tim Howard won’t find themselves in the top three or five players on this list. But who else? What about Brian McBride? Current captain Clint Dempsey? Brad Friedel or Kasey Keller?

How do these all-time great Americans match up against each other? Who deserves to make the list that you might otherwise not think about? Remember: the list is for American BORN players, not players who simply played in Los Estados Unitos.

Drew wants your suggestions. You can leave them here in the comments on this blog post or email him (drew@wnst.net). We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, Drew will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Luke on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. He will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday with Nestor on “The Happy Hours”.

Who are the greatest soccer players in the history of the Red, White and Blue? Make your voice heard!

-G

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There’s some Wizard-ry in this week’s #WNSTSweet16

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There’s some Wizard-ry in this week’s #WNSTSweet16

Posted on 10 June 2014 by Glenn Clark

I realized after getting this assignment that I had absolutely no emotional attachment to this list. I have no idea if that helped me or not in putting it together, but it’s the first list I’ve done this year that I’ve been able to put together without even an ounce of personal feeling being involved.

If you missed this week’s preview, here’s a reminder. Also of note, I did not consider anything from the organization’s pre-Baltimore history. There are no Chicago Zephyrs involved.

Here we go.

16. Bradley Beal

While only playing two seasons thus far with the franchise doesn’t place him among the franchise’s all-time leaders, the quality of the former Florida star’s first two years warrant a spot just ahead of the likes of Jeff Ruland, Charles Jones, Chris Webber and others.

(Continued on next page…)

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 comes faster than a speeding “Bullet”

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 comes faster than a speeding “Bullet”

Posted on 08 June 2014 by Glenn Clark

We certainly got some people fired up last week.

We’re 22 weeks into our #WNSTSweet16 celebration, and we’re a week removed from perhaps the most controversial list of the year. It’s going to be a hard act to follow. The rest of our staff is grateful Nestor Aparicio handled last week’s prep list so that we could avoid the heat-and the difficulty.

If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about (I mean…there’s always one), 2014 marks our 16th year of serving the Baltimore community as sports media leader here at WNST.net. We’re celebrating by taking a different “water cooler” topic every week and dissecting it before declaring an “official” list every Tuesday.

We then continue the celebration by yelling, screaming, name calling and then ultimately agreeing to hug it out. Well, most of us do anyway. Luke never really gets involved with the name-calling. Actually one time he did. He said “I have to be honest, I respectfully disagree” and then apologized for such an outburst.

If you’ve missed any of our #WNSTSweet16 lists thus far this year (including Nestor’s hotly debated list from a week ago), here’s your chance to catch up. (The #WNSTSweet16 is brought to you by Jerry’s Automotive!)

Week 22: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 all-time greatest local high athletes
Week 21: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 greatest local lacrosse players of all time
Week 20: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 most unsung Orioles
Week 19: Gary Quill-Sweet 16 all-time Maryland horse racing moments
Week 18: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 most important picks in Ravens draft history
Week 17: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 worst draft picks in Baltimore Ravens history
Week 16: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest players in Washington Capitals history
Week 15: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 games we’ve been treated to
Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

And in Week 23, we’ve got the NBA on our mind here at WNST.

I’m in the cockpit for this week’s #WNSTSweet16 for the second time in three weeks. We’re in the throws of the NBA Finals, with the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat offering a couple of classics to start the series.

With that in mind, we thought this week would be appropriate to look back on the area’s own professional basketball history. Our topic this week is the “Sweet 16 best ever Baltimore/Washington Bullets/Wizards”.

Sure, that sounds like a disjointed topic title, but we have to imagine you understand why. The pro franchise that currently plays down in DC’s Chinatown neighborhood once called Charm City home-beginning their existence playing games at the historic Baltimore Arena. We wanted to recognize Baltimore’s pro history (albeit brief) and then also recognize the players who played for the franchise in Washington since there are a number of Wizards fans in our area as well.

This means that not only are Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and Wes Unseld eligible for our list, but so are John Wall and Bradley Beal-and everyone in between.

I’m struggling already with the list. There are a couple of Hall of Famers that immediately go to the top of the list-but how does the list shake out after that? There were a number of players during the Bullets/Wizards’ lean years in the District that were good for a short time, but not for an extended period of time. Where does Gilbert Arenas fit into this picture?

These aren’t easy determinations to make.

I want your suggestions. You can leave them here in the comments on this blog post or email me (glenn@wnst.net). We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, I will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Drew and Luke on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. I will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday with Nestor on “The Happy Hours”.

I need to hear from old Baltimore Bullets fans and (frankly) younger Washington Wizards fans alike for this one. Who are the greatest players in franchise history? Make your voice heard!

-G

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