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tony-wisniewski

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The tale of a pseudo superstar

Posted on 22 April 2014 by Tony Wisniewski

I used to be the next great Baltimore media superstar.

It was the mid-2000s, I was working in the sports department at The Baltimore Sun.  I was young, handsome, brilliant, and knowledgeable.  I was the type of sport-laden “mind that would come along once, maybe twice in a generation”—a self-describing line from The Big Bang Theory’s Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

Alas, Sheldon Cooper and I have a lot in common—as our stories are mere fiction, derived from the type of creative make-believe that convinced someone like Anita Marks into promoting herself as a former “professional quarterback.”

I was never the next superstar at The Baltimore Sun, or anywhere else in Baltimore.  In fact, I’m fortunate to even be able to call myself a former media member—it’s an accomplishment that many yearn for, but rarely obtain.

Nearly a decade after I sat in The Sun’s news room answering the rapid-fire high school sports score-reporting line , I finally have come to terms with the fact that I have nothing to show for my efforts other than a shared byline on a small story about Baltimore’s Jessica Long.

Now, at 30, I’m no longer young.  Married, with budding specks of gray invading my mop, and more than several extra pounds protruding over my belt, it’s up for debate whether I’m still handsome.  And years removed from any sort of blog writing or sports reporting for websites like Examiner, Bugs and Cranks, and a dozen or so self-created failures, I’d be hard-pressed to find anyone—other than close friends and family—who believe I know jack about Baltimore sports.

But here I am, back at it, thanks to the kick-in-the-pants from my buddy, Will, a fella has forgotten more about local sports than I could ever hope to know.

Will and I remember a time when Baltimore media boasted legendary media members like John Steadman, John Eisenberg, Ken Rosenthal, Vince Bagli, and Chuck Thompson.  These days, most Baltimore media outlets—with the exception of a few (WNST being the frontrunner) have forgotten the idea of what “local” means—lack the local passion and historical firepower to opine about anything other than less-than-stellar and dimwitted attempts to discern the “here and now,” with little recollection of what it was like “then and when.”

Don’t get me wrong, here and now is king when it comes to media—but there’s a thing called context, and it means a heck of a lot when generating conversation with a fan-base as knowledgeable, excitable, and pleasantly irrational as the one here Charm City.

A guy like me remembers the “when,” and lives the “now.”  And it’s this, and this alone, that has thrust me into coming back and being a member of local sports media.

If I have to do it on my own, so be it—which is why I’ll be writing at BaltimoreSportsWiz.com.  But, truth be told, left up to me, I’ll choose to bring whatever  talent I have left from my days a delusional up-and-comer in the Baltimore sports world to WNST.net and WNST 1570AM, where I’m a member of the “Baltimore Sports Media Superstar” competition.

I’ve heard some of the other contestants who are up for the gig on the WNST Audio Vault.  Some are really good, others are really passionate, and I have no idea if I’ll be lucky enough to even be in contention.  And that’s OK because I’ve come to realize that I’ve missed being immersed in the local sports conversation, and it’s time to jump back in.

With an opportunity like WNST’s contest, and a little bit of remaining God-given ability, there’s no reason I can’t fulfill what I once thought I was—a Baltimore sports media superstar.

But for real this time, not just make-believe.

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 will get you “ice’d”

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 will get you “ice’d”

Posted on 21 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

We’ve been doing this for nearly four months now. I think you know how it works.

We’re celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. We’re having some fun with our own Sweet 16 by tackling some “water cooler” topics that we’ve discussed during the course of the WNST era.

Oddly enough, this is the 16th week in our 16th year and we’re tackling our 16th topic. Also odd? My favorite actress is Molly Ringwald! Would you believe that?

If you missed any of our first 15 topics, here’s a look back.

(The “Sweet 16″ is driven by our friends at Jerry’s Automotive-Jerry’s Chevrolet & Jerry’s Toyota Scion!)

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

So we have to admit this didn’t really play out the way we had hoped it would up to this point. You see, when we cooked up these #WNSTSweet16 ideas we thought the Washington Capitals would be in the throws of a first round matchup in the NHL Playoffs. I mean, it’s been seven years since this has happened and all. We were pretty confident that hockey would be fresh on the minds of a number of Baltimore sports fans.

So can we just pretend like that actually happened? It will make this list a bit more relevant.

The NHL Playoffs have been GREAT thus far, with many overtimes allowing fans additional time to figure out where CNBC is on their cable package. Despite the Caps falling short of the postseason, this week’s list has a hockey twist.

Drew Forrester takes the reigns again for the #WNSTSweet16 this week, recognizing the Sweet 16 “Greatest Players in Washington Capitals history.”

You don’t necessarily HAVE to be a Caps fan to be able to get in on the fun-you simply have to have an opinion.

How does the team’s current MVP (Alex Ovechkin) rate against some of the franchise’s best ever-like Dale Hunter, Rod Langway, Yvon Labre or Mike Gartner? Where does Peter Bondra fall on this list? What about goaltenders like Olaf Kolzig or Jim Carey? Who else from the Ovechkin-era Capitals needs to be a part of the sixteen? Nicklas Backstrom? Mike Green? Alex Semin?

Drew cares about this type of stuff as much as anyone I know but he needs your help. As always, we’re not just trying to make Drew’s list, we’re trying to make something as close to an “official” list as we’re capable of.

Drew wants your ideas. Leave them here in the comments or email him via 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 on “The Happy Hours” with Nestor Aparicio.

Consider this one final opportunity to enjoy Caps hockey for the season. And considering how things went, this will probably end up being much more enjoyable than anything else that happened during the course of the year. (As Drew and Ian Eagle might say: “It’s not a low blow, it’s just a fact.”)

This is your chance to make your voice heard. Who are the greatest players in the history of the Washington Capitals? Let Drew know!

-G

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And for Easter week, the #WNSTSweet16 should be a nice “treat”

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And for Easter week, the #WNSTSweet16 should be a nice “treat”

Posted on 13 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

This is the part of our weekly #WNSTSweet16 introduction where I remind you that we’re celebrating our 16th anniversary here at WNST. I feel like you should probably have caught on to how we do these things by now.

To celebrate our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader, we’re discussing various “water cooler” topics from the WNST era every week and defining them via a list. We’re calling it the #WNSTSweet16. It’s been a lot of fun. You should probably call your family and friends and let them know they’ll want to be a part of this thing.

We’ve already hit 14 topics this year as part of our #WNSTSweet16 celebration. Did you miss any of them? (Shame on you if you did.) Here’s a quick recap.

(The “Sweet 16″ is driven by our friends at Jerry’s Automotive-Jerry’s Chevrolet & Jerry’s Toyota Scion!)

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

The Nasty One himself, Nestor Aparicio is in charge of the Sweet 16 again this week.

As you may be aware, I’m a fan of a nice Easter treat. I prefer Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs to Cadbury Creme Eggs and I DEFINITELY prefer Starburst Jelly Beans to Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (and if you disagree I hope you’ll do the right thing and just leave the country); but I at least respect all treats equally.

As Baltimore sports fans, we’ve been “treated” to some awesome things in our lives. Some of them have been individual games-games we’ll remember forever and we can recall details about no matter how far away we’ve gotten from them.

This week’s list is meant for those games. These are the games that made us sit on the edge of our seat, the games that made us sweat as if we were actually playing in them. The official topic is “Sweet 16 Games we’ve been treated to”.

While it seems like the 1958 NFL Championship Game will be hard to beat on this list, I wonder if the factor of time will play a role here. While the game has come to be known as “The Greatest Game Ever Played”, much of the aura surrounding it is based on the significance of the game and less about the game itself-although we certainly know the game was quite good.

But what are the greatest games in Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles history? Until 2012 I think I would have declared the win over the Tennessee Titans in the 2000 NFL Playoffs (January 2001) the best game-but how can you argue against the Mile High Miracle and 2OT thrilling nature of the Wild Card win over the Broncos?

I’m hard pressed to tell you what the greatest game in Orioles history might be. We all remember great hits, great moments and great plays-but what was the most dramatic game? If this were my list, I’d be needing a ton of help.

To me the greatest Maryland basketball game I’ve ever seen was the thrilling Elite 8 contest against UConn in Syracuse back in 2002. I’ve shared my feelings about the game more than a few times, including a love letter I wrote on the 10th anniversary of the game a few years back.

And perhaps the most difficult part for Nestor will be remembering that the area team didn’t have to win the game in question. This list isn’t supposed to be for the greatest wins in local sports history, it’s meant to be about the greatest games. It can be any combination.

What needs to be on the list? This is where you come in.

Nestor wants your ideas. Leave them here in the comments or email him via nasty@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, Nasty 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. He will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday on “The Happy Hours”.

What games still give you chills when you think about them today? Let your voice be heard!

-G

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 sets up to be “Master-ful”

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 sets up to be “Master-ful”

Posted on 07 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

2014 marks our 16th year serving the community as Baltimore’s sports media leader. But you already knew that because you threw us that AMAZING quinceanera last August. By the way, I feel as though I haven’t fully explained just how amazing that waltz was that you did with your parents at the event. It was beautiful.

Believe it or not, there are a few people who actually weren’t aware we’re celebrating year sixteen at WNST. To mark our 16th year, we’ve been looking over some of the more significant “water cooler” topics of the WNST era and trying to settle the arguments using a group of lists we’ve called the #WNSTSweet16. There have already been 13 weeks and 13 lists, here’s a look back if you missed any of them.

(The “Sweet 16″ is driven by our friends at Jerry’s Automotive-Jerry’s Chevrolet & Jerry’s Toyota Scion!)

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

Drew Forrester is back in the driver’s seat for this week’s list. It’s with that in mind that I should mention I’ll be joining Luke Jones on the D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction this coming Wednesday morning?

Where’s Drew going to be? Well…where do you think? I’ll give you a hint, there may be a pimento and cheese sandwich in his immediate future.

That’s right, Drew is headed to Augusta to take in the final practice round at The Masters. At least that’s what he tells us. I think we all know well enough to know he’s really going to Augusta to follow Jim Nantz around all day and discuss wines together. (He’ll be back Thursday morning and then presumably glued to his television for the rest of the weekend.)

With Drew’s trip in mind, this week’s Sweet 16 list steps outside of Charm City and to the place where the azaleas are always in bloom. This week’s topic is “Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years”.

I think we all know at least a few of the moments that will make Drew’s list. Tiger Woods’ dominant win in 1997 to claim his first major title seems like a pretty safe bet to crack the compilation. Jack Nicklaus’ stunning 1986 triumph comes in just under the wire to be eligible for the list. Bubba Watson’s hook shot just a couple of years back could likely end up being the most recent moment on the list and that Eldrick fella also made a pretty significant chip shot in 2005 that I’d have to imagine would be a consideration.

What else makes the list? Victories from Adam Scott or Angel Cabrera? A certain well known Greg Norman collapse? I’m glad Drew is handling this one because…well…we all know this probably wouldn’t go well if I was left in charge. In fact, in case I forget to mention it Wednesday morning when I’m in for Drew-I’m going to let it be known now that my pick to win this weekend in Augusta is Chi Chi Rodriguez. It’s bound to work out at some point.

Drew wants your ideas. Leave them here in the comments or email him via 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 Aparicio on “The Happy Hours”.

Which memories of green jackets, the Butler cabin and Flowering Crab Apples have stood out the most for you over the course of the last three decades? Make your voice heard!

-G

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The latest #WNSTSweet16 is a laughing matter

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The latest #WNSTSweet16 is a laughing matter

Posted on 25 March 2014 by Luke Jones

Championship trophies tarnish and the details from box scores fade from memory over the years, but the way our sports figures made us feel is never forgotten as this week’s #WNSTSweet16 examines some of the biggest sports personalities to grace the Charm City with their presence.

This week’s list is not only open to local athletes but managers, coaches, broadcasters, and even super fans who gained notoriety from their unique personalities. Many were known as goofballs because of their naturally-comedic traits while a few may have qualified through actions that merely came across as humorous in the eyes of others.

There are no statistics for humor on which to rate these individuals, but there’s no shortage of goofballs who still resonate with the local community years after their time in the public eye — and even on this earth, in some cases — has come to an end.

With April Fools’ Day only a week away, we honor the #WNSTSweet16 local sports goofballs who were as memorable for their personalities as anything else they accomplished:

Continue to next page for No. 16

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Ravens awarded four compensatory picks at Owner’s Meetings

Posted on 24 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Last year’s off-season after the Super Bowl was painful for Ravens fans, but now the team is being rewarded for its troubles and patience in free agency.

At the NFL Owner Meetings today in Orlando, the Baltimore Ravens learned more about their off-season approach in May as they received the league maximum number of compensatory picks possible for free agent losses.

The team received a third (99th overall),  two fourth-round (134th, 138 overall), and a fifth-round pick (175th overall).

The picks were rewarded for the losses of DE Paul Kruger (Cleveland), MLB Dannell Ellerbe (Miami), CB Cary Williams (Philadelphia), and FS Ed Reed (Houston) in free agency.

Because the Ravens did not sign any unrestricted free agents in the 2013 off-season, the team was not docked any picks from their total.

DE Elvis Dumervil, DL Chris Canty, DL Marcus Spears, S Michael Huff, and MLB Daryl Smith were all signed after teams cut them or late into training camp.

All-in-all, the Ravens will have eight picks as their disposal in May.

Follow all your Ravens news on @WNST on Twitter! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Sports!

 

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 isn’t a goof, just a celebration of them

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 isn’t a goof, just a celebration of them

Posted on 23 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

Maybe you’ve heard, but we’re celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. And since we’ve been leading the way in sports media, we figured we should follow suit by leading the way in celebrations. With that in mind, we’re celebrating all year long. That’s right. ALL YEAR LONG.

To mark the occasion, we’re taking a look at some of the bigger “water cooler” topics that have been discussed during the course of the WNST era. We’re already eleven lists into the year, here’s a look back on them if you’ve missed any.

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 begins a “residency” of sorts in terms of Sweet 16 honors, as he’ll have both this week’s list and next week’s compilation as well. This one sets up to be one of the more fun lists we’ll tackle all year.

We’re not far from the start of April (frightening, yes) and with the first of the month comes not only an upcoming schedule shift here at WNST but of course also April Fool’s Day.

We thought about making a list of local sports fools, but the connotation is certainly much more negative and doesn’t reflect the positive nature of the list we had hoped to create. Our list is meant to celebrate those who are silly-not necessarily foolish.

The topic this week is Sweet 16 “Local Sports Goofballs and Personalities”.

We’ve certainly been blessed to have quite a few of these types over the years in Charm City. Once again, I fear this is a race for #2-as I cannot fathom there being anyone on top of the list other than the incomparable Artie Donovan. But this is not “my” list, it belongs to the WNST community and will simply be posted by Luke.

Luke has expanded the criteria for this week’s list to include not only athletes but also coaches, front office personnel and even sports media types. Based on that criteria, I would imagine former Orioles skipper Earl Weaver and Charley Eckman (how would you even begin to describe Charley Eckman?) would also have to end up somewhere near the top of the list.

But who else needs to make the cut? Does Billy “F*ck Face” Ripken get a spot over Sopranos star and part time Ravens Super Bowl champion Tony Siragusa? Is there room on the list for former Loyola coach and Maryland assistant Jimmy Patsos-who was once so crazy he coached a game while sitting in the crowd? And let’s not forget that perhaps the greatest goofball in baseball history-Roger McDowell-pitched for the 1996 O’s team that would get back to the postseason for the first time since 1983.

There are probably hundreds of solid candidates to make Luke’s list, but he can only pick 16 from this incredibly broad field.

Luke wants your ideas. Leave them here in the comments or email him via 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 Forrester on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. He will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday with me on “The Reality Check Driven by Jerry’s Toyota Scion”.

Much like last week, stats won’t help Luke much in putting together this week’s list. Help remind him of some of the biggest “characters” in local sports history or weigh in on how those all of us remember should end up being ranked. Let your voice be heard!

-G

 

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I’m going to need your help with this week’s #WNSTSweet16

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I’m going to need your help with this week’s #WNSTSweet16

Posted on 16 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

We’re celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. We like celebrations, so we’re doing it for the entire year. Yeah. Our celebrations are better than your celebrations.

To mark the occasion, we’re taking a look at some of the bigger “water cooler” topics that have been discussed during the course of the WNST era. We’re already nine lists into the year, here’s a look back on them if you’ve missed any.

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

It comes back around to me here in Week 11, and I’ll admit I’m a little overwhelmed by this one. I’m going to be leaning on your guys perhaps more than I ever have before.

Not everything in sports can be measured be stats. That’s exactly what makes this week’s #WNSTSweet16 list so difficult.

As you know, Monday is St. Patrick’s Day…or St. Patty’s Day…or St. Paddy’s Day…or whatever the folks on social media tell me it is. No one on this week’s list will have driven snakes out of anywhere-but I’m not certain we know St. Patrick did either.

In recognition of March 17 (and also nicely timed with the annual Ed Block Courage Awards), this week’s topic is “Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back.”

There are a few ways this can go. In fact, I thought of essentially three different categories that someone could fall into when it comes to this list.

1-An Orioles/Ravens/Colts/etc. player who gave back with their money.

We’re certainly aware of athletes who have made major contributions to charitable endeavors. Todd Heap’s name immediately came to mind when I thought of this category-specifically considering the $1 million donation he recently made to Franklin Square Hospital. There are a number of others whose giving has been well known over the years, but many of the better known sports-related philanthropists are not actually athletes (see: Angelos, Peter or Modell, Art).

2-An Orioles/Ravens/Colts/etc. player who gave back with their time.

I feel like this is going to be a category where we’re going to find more of our “saints” for this list. A number of players are well known to have taken countless hours to help in this community. Matt Stover famously seemed to appear at just about every possible community event there was (and still does!). If I had to guess right now, Lenny Moore is probably currently attending some sort of community gathering as long as he’s feeling well enough to do so. Brooks Robinson was certainly well known to frequent things like Lions Club meetings to help fundraising.

But giving back with time doesn’t have to be driven by charity alone. Part of the legend of Cal Ripken surrounds his willingness to stay after games at Memorial Stadium or Camden Yards to sign autographs and greet kids. On top of his other kindness, that certainly qualifies for this list.

3-Athletes originally from the area who have made a point of taking care of those in their hometown.

This category is perhaps my favorite of the group. Not every athlete who has given back to Charm City has ever played for a team in the area. While Tommy Polley did eventually spend some time with the Ravens in his career, it is far from what he’s best known for. Athletes like Carmelo Anthony, Sam Cassell, Antonio Freeman, Kurk Lee, Keion Carpenter, Denny Neagle and others are from Baltimore and have shown just how much they care about Baltimore.

But who else? And how to rank them? Who is Baltimore’s greatest sports “saint”? Who has given back to our community the most?

I want your ideas. Leave them here in the comments or email me via 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 Forrester & Luke Jones on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. I will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday on “The Reality Check Driven by Jerry’s Toyota Scion”.

Stats won’t help me with this one. The mostly “saintly” local sports figure may have been by no means a Hall of Famer or even a star. Who needs to be recognized? Let your voice be heard!

-G

 

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Ahead of Madness, #WNSTSweet16 tackles Baltimore’s greatest college hoopsters

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Ahead of Madness, #WNSTSweet16 tackles Baltimore’s greatest college hoopsters

Posted on 02 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

Perhaps you haven’t heard that we’re celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. What’s that? You haven’t?

We’re celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. To mark the occasion, we’re taking a look at some of the bigger “water cooler” topics that have been discussed during the course of the WNST era. We’re already six lists into the year, here’s a look back on them if you’ve missed any.

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

We’re into Week 9 and Drew Forrester is once again responsible for this week’s Sweet 16 list, which is a bit more defined than some of the lists we’ve tried in recent weeks. We’re on the cusp of March Madness here in Charm City. Two local college hoops teams (Towson and Morgan State) have legitimate chances to make the NCAA Tournament-one Tournament bid will be determined here in Baltimore in eight days when the CAA Tournament Championship is decided at Baltimore Arena.

We’ve discussed the Terps once already here in the Sweet 16, and considering their effort against Clemson Sunday it’s probably not worth discussing them again in the future. Instead, let’s focus in on the five most direct area teams.

This week’s topic is “The Sweet 16 Greatest Baltimore College Basketball Players”. There is an important distinction to be made here. The list is NOT for the greatest college hoops players to have been born in Baltimore, but instead for the greatest players to have played in Baltimore-at either Towson, UMBC, Morgan State, Coppin State or Loyola. (I’ll allow Drew’s discretion if he thinks players from lower level schools like Johns Hopkins or Stevenson should be considered as well.)

If the player also just so happens to have been from Baltimore originally (like former Morgan State star Reggie Holmes or former Towson standout Kurk Lee), so be it. Both are going to be in the argument to be near the top of this list. As is former UMBC standout Jay Greene, who lead the school to their only ever NCAA Tournament appearance. “The Human Eraser” Marvin Webster is probably the most accomplished NBA player to have played at a Baltimore school-he has to be considered near the top of the list. Tracy Bergan helped the Loyola Greyhounds make their first ever trip to “The Big Dance”, he would have to be considered. Perhaps even likely two-time CAA Player of the Year Jerrelle Benimon will be near the top as he tries to lead Towson back to the postseason in the waning stages of his college career.

The fun part about this list for me is that I legitimately don’t know who will end up being number one-which hasn’t always been the case early on this year. I can make an argument for a few of those guys. It will also be interesting to see how Drew measures the stats a player compiled versus the accomplishments or winning games/conference titles/reaching the NCAA Tournament.

Who do you think deserves to be on the list? Who should be at the top?

We want your ideas. Leave them here in the comments or email Drew via 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 Jones on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. Drew will then re-visit the list with me at 4pm Tuesday on “The Reality Check Driven by Jerry’s Toyota Scion”.

Who was the greatest player you ever saw at a Baltimore-area college? I’ll save you the trouble in trying to do shtick and let you know I don’t think Tamir Goodman is going to end up making the list.

But who else?

-G

 

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 reminds us of when “hype” has gone wrong

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 reminds us of when “hype” has gone wrong

Posted on 23 February 2014 by Glenn Clark

Perhaps you haven’t heard that we’re celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. What’s that? You haven’t?

We’re celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. To mark the occasion, we’re taking a look at some of the bigger “water cooler” topics that have been discussed during the course of the WNST era. We’re already six lists into the year, here’s a look back on them if you’ve missed any.

Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players

Perhaps it’s fitting that a warm, sunny Sunday mark the start of our eighth week. Luke Jones returns to the reigns of the #WNSTSweet16, and before it gets cold again, we’d like to think a little about baseball. Spring Training games start this week in Sarasota, making it an appropriate time to have baseball on the mind.

There is plenty of excitement for the start of O’s season in Charm City after the recent signings of P Ubaldo Jimenez and DH/OF Nelson Cruz. In fact, I would venture to guess that Birds fans might now describe themselves as “hyped” for the start of the season.

Of course, we’ve been here before. A number of players, whether acquired in free agency or brought up after being drafted and developed by the organization, have given us great hope but failed to deliver. That’s what we’re talking about in this week’s #WNSTSweet16, as the topic is The Sweet 16 “Orioles Who Didn’t Live Up To The Hype”.

Much like last week’s list, Luke has to deal with two sets of criteria. One is that the player has to have received “hype” (defined by Dictionary.com as “exaggerated publicity, hoopla”) before or upon his arrival. So Luke may end up ranking players based on just how much “hype” they actually received OR based on just how spectacularly they failed to live up to said “hype”.

The name Jeffrey Hammonds jumped out at me when we came up with this particular topic. Hammonds was viewed as a “complete” player that couldn’t miss after being selected fourth overall in 1992. Hammonds would go on to become an All-Star with the Colorado Rockies but never lived up to expectations in Baltimore. (This is particularly tough for me to accept because Hammonds is one of my all-time favorite Orioles and the player I was most wrong about in my life.)

In more recent years, two players the Orioles acquired (in different ways) tend to jump out. Andy MacPhail traded Garrett Olson to the Chicago Cubs in January 2009 for a prospect named Felix Pie…who…well…yeah. There are a lot of you who thought Felix Pie was the team’s next great outfielder. (Spoiler: He wasn’t.)

Before this past week, Vladimir Guerrero was the team’s most significant acquisition since the 2004 offseason (when they signed Miguel Tejada and Javy Lopez). Guerrero arrived to much fanfare in 2011 (an offseason that also saw the Birds acquire well known vets like Derrek Lee) but failed to deliver-tallying just 13 home runs and 63 RBI. (But hey, he did show us it was possible for a player to have an On Base Percentage just 21 points higher than his batting average!)

Who else? What other Orioles didn’t live up to expectations or hype?

We want your ideas. Leave them here in the comments or email Luke via 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 Forrester on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. Luke will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday on “The Reality Check Driven by Jerry’s Toyota Scion”.

When was the hype too much for an Oriole who just simply wouldn’t be able to live up to it? Let us know now!

-G

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