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The Peter Principles (Ch. 3): How close did Angelos come to owning Baltimore’s NFL team?

Posted on 04 July 2018 by Nestor Aparicio

(Author note: This is Chapter 3 of future book “The Peter Principles” that I was working to finish in March 2014 when my wife was diagnosed with leukemia. I have released the first three chapters of the book, which chronicles the history of Peter G. Angelos and his ownership of the Baltimore Orioles. I think you’ll find much of this already-reported information to be illuminating.)

Chapter 1 is available here.

Chapter 2 is available here.

Chapter 12 is available here.

 

3. Giving Peter The Ball & Scabs

 

“I think they are concerned about litigation, but they feel as we do, that no one wants to litigate but one has to sometimes and the chances for success are excellent. I’m confident that Baltimore is the best applicant for an NFL franchise both from a financial and a fan standpoint.”

– Peter Angelos, May 18, 1994 to The Sun regarding Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke blocking his rights to buying an NFL franchise

 

 

TO UNDERSTAND BALTIMORE’S INNATE YEARNING for a National Football League team is to understand what the Baltimore Ravens have meant to the town, its sports psyche and the league since returning in 1996. After winning Super Bowls in 2001 and 2013, it’s very hard to fathom that time and space between March 28, 1984 and Nov. 6, 1995 ­– when the town that participated in what became known as The Greatest Game Ever Played in 1958, the place that the Colts of Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore, Art Donovan, Raymond Berry and Jim Parker roamed on 33rd Street in what was affectionately known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Insane Asylum – was without the NFL.

The Orioles were the toast of Baltimore for sure in the early 1990s but there was always something missing in the Charm City when there weren’t NFL games on those 12 seasons of Sundays in the fall. After a decade of high-speed pursuits by the state of Maryland, Mayor of Baltimore and then Governor William Donald Schaefer, the Maryland Stadium Authority and several bidders in 1993, the city was repeatedly turned down in the expansion process. By the time Angelos had purchased the Orioles, the NFL had found itself in a precarious situation with Baltimore sitting empty and several suitors working every angle possible to steal an existing team and essentially steal another city’s team the way the Colts were stolen off in the middle of the night in 1984 by owner Robert Irsay. And Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke had tried every possible way to keep Baltimore from ever having a team again and once attempted to get a stadium built in Laurel to ensure it. Schaefer blocked Cooke and then rallied support for civic monies to be held to fund a Baltimore football stadium at Camden Yards if the NFL granted the city a franchise.

Despite all of the efforts of Schaefer and his steward Herb Belgrad, it didn’t work. In early 1995, the city of Baltimore was considered to be further away than ever in a search for a return to the NFL now that a pair of expansion teams had gone to Jacksonville and Charlotte and it was clear St. Louis was in the final stages of swiping the Rams from Los Angeles.

It was a dirty business, this franchise ownership, league gamesmanship, civic hostage taking of teams and the politics of modern sports. But Baltimore and Maryland were a unique player in the revolving door of NFL cities vying for the theft of teams from other markets where old stadia were failing to lure more revenue or ownerships were dissatisfied and looking for a bigger, better deal – led of course by Irsay’s decision to leave the land of pleasant living a decade earlier and the machinations of Al Davis in California with the Raiders.

Because of what the Orioles meant to the area and the success of the downtown revitalization spurred by the facility, Baltimore, Maryland had real money in the state coffers to fund a new stadium in the parking lot adjacent to the baseball stadium at Camden Yards. The area had always been earmarked as the site of a potential NFL team but the only problem was finding one of the existing 30 teams to find the deal too $weet to pass up. There was a lot of money to be made on an NFL franchise in Baltimore and the thought was that with many municipalities hard-lining NFL owners on the stadium issue on behalf of local taxpayers, it was only a matter of time before someone moved a team to the former home of the Colts. The insiders knew just how much money and how rich the Baltimore deal was for an owner who wanted to flee but the media and local fans were very skeptical after a decade of operating in the fog of having lost the Colts.

Once again, Angelos went into his office in Baltimore and tried to don the cape as a civic hero, flying in to save the day and bring the NFL back to his hometown.

But there were several other suitors pushing to be the winner in this grab for a football team in 1994.

Leonard “Boogie” Weinglass left Angelos’ partnership before it ever really began in September 1993 – he never invested in the team after being the original local person who was interested in the club when Eli Jacobs put it up for sale. At the time he said it was in an effort to pursue an NFL team that he hoped to call the Bombers, paying homage to the World War II planes that were built in Eastern Baltimore County at Martin Marietta.

Malcolm Glazer and his sons Bryan and Joel had been one of the three failed efforts by Baltimore to win the 1993 NFL expansion process. Now, they had set their sights on buying the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their home state of Florida, where they lived in Palm Beach.

Baltimore beer distributors Bob Footlick and Bob Pinkner had also partnered with Robert Schulman in an effort to pursue an NFL team.

And, of course, with his August 1993 victory in the New York auction house and his leading man status as the owner of the Orioles, Angelos was funded and motivated to join Miami’s Wayne Huizenga as the second man to own an NFL and MLB franchise simultaneously. There had previously been language to disallow such a local

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Former Ravens exec Bailey joins new USFL

Posted on 16 May 2012 by WNST Staff

San Diego, Calif. (May 16, 2012) — The United States Football League (USFL) announced today that Jeff Garcia, a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback during his 12-year NFL career, has been named to the USFL’s board of advisors.

Garcia will serve on the player development branch of the USFL’s advisory board. The Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. resident joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff and former NFL and San Diego Chargers executive Jim Steeg – Chairman of the USFL board of advisors – along with former Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens executive vice president James Bailey and sports consultant/coach Terrell Jones on the board.

“We are thrilled to have Jeff involved and to be able to tap into his knowledge and experience in the professional football world as we look forward to re-launching the USFL in 2013,” USFL President and Chief Executive Officer Jaime Cuadra said. “Jeff’s extensive background and networks with professional football players will undoubtedly help carry out the USFL’s mission of helping our players live successfully and responsibly as positive citizens on and off the field.”

The USFL is planning to field eight teams for its inaugural 14-game season in 2013, kicking off in March and concluding with a championship game in June. The league has targeted a number of U.S. cities for franchises.

The USFL’s board of advisors will be responsible for guiding and advising USFL management on various areas of operations and, eventually, focus on identifying candidates and selecting the league’s commissioner.

Garcia began his NFL stint with the San Francisco 49ers in 1999 and went on to play with the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans. He led the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders to the 1998 Grey Cup championship and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, providing his springboard to the NFL.

Garcia, retired from football, is the owner of Beyond Wealth Sports, a company representing professional athletes on and off the field. It is focused on mentoring athletes and helping them prepare for the transition from sports to secondary careers. Garcia’s business practice is directly in line with the USFL’s long-term goals for its players.

The USFL is designed to allow players not drafted by the NFL, or those that have been released by NFL teams, an opportunity to play professional football under the same rules as the NFL. In order to maintain financial responsibility and sustainability, the USFL will structure itself under a single-entity business model. All player and coach contracts will be owned by the USFL, and each team owner will be a member operator of the league.  

The USFL intends to create a working relationship with the NFL by allowing access to its players and personnel. This relationship will be one of respect and collaboration, but the USFL will operate independently with a focus on developing its players and creating the best fan experience possible.

The USFL will also endeavor to prepare players for life after playing football by providing mentorship and counsel to expand the athletes’ awareness of opportunities inside and, especially, outside of football.  Additionally, the USFL wishes to enhance the fan experience by providing greater access to its players and employing technology to enhance the viewing experience for its fans.

Biletnikoff was a six-time All-Pro wide receiver who totaled 589 receptions for 8,974 yards and 76 touchdowns during his 14-year NFL career with the Raiders. He began his professional coaching career in the original USFL, coaching with the Oakland Invaders and the Arizona Wranglers.

Steeg is a 35-year veteran as an NFL executive and the former COO of the San Diego Chargers. Prior to joining the Chargers, Steeg was instrumental in the growth of the NFL’s Super Bowl, having worked for the NFL for 26 years, where he was Senior Vice President of Special Events.

Bailey was responsible for the management of all business, financial and legal operations in his 21-year tenure with the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens franchise. He facilitated and oversaw the relocation of the franchise to Baltimore.

Jones, CEO and founder of TJones Group, LLC, has been involved in professional sports as a coach and consultant for more than 16 years. He has worked with the NFL, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Jones has successfully negotiated endorsement deals for his clients as well as sponsorship deals with major corporations, and will consult with the USFL on its business operations.

About The United States Football League

The United States Football League, LLC, a Delaware LLC, is a professional spring outdoor football league owned by EndZone Sports Management and is headquartered in San Diego, Calif. Jaime Cuadra is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the USFL. The USFL’s vision is provide a high-level competitive environment to help develop players for the National Football League, while preparing its players for succeeding as professionals and in life on and off of the field during and after their football careers. While the USFL initially operated from 1983-87, the new USFL plans to debut in the spring of 2013 by fielding eight teams nationwide to play a 14-game season, including a four-team playoff tournament, and providing fans with an exciting and innovative brand of football. The USFL plans to adopt all playing rules of the National Football League. For more information on the USFL’s 2013 launch, please visit the USFL online at www.theusfl.net and via social media on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheUSFL) and on Twitter (@TheUSFL).

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Bucs signee LeGrand offers inspiration for all of football

Posted on 10 May 2012 by WNST Audio

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Ravens Lose The Game …. But, Tom Brady Loses My Respect

Posted on 06 October 2009 by WNST Interns

As I grow older, I’m getting wiser ….. I’m absolutely convinced of it. And, as I begin to scratch the surface of the Ravens contentious loss to the Patriots, I’m glad that I’ve relied on that acquired technique of thoroughly absorbing a situation before putting my feelings in writing.

This doesn’t mean I remained stoic and silent as a potential victory bounced off the chest of Mark Clayton and through the fingers of the Baltimore Ravens, on Sunday. In fact, I suffered a behemoth meltdown of personal conduct, to the witness of several dozen Fells Point Festival Fans.

Trust me, if Andrew Dice Clay, Robert Deniro and Joe Pesci saw my very animated, yet very real explosion of emotion, they’d look at each other and say “Damn, that F@#&*ng guy can curse.”

I can’t help my weakness – watching football and rooting for the hometown team brings out an emotionally charged reaction in me and YOU.

And, this same rabid, infuriating streak – which cannot be found in the typical baseball, basketball or hockey fan – is exactly what fuels my dissection of the NFL’s hellbent mission of protecting CERTAIN QUARTERBACKS.

I’m not disparaging fans of other sports …..

We’re those same people. But, we behave differently when the passion is football. We anticipate pain. We relish defense. And, we expect brutal, hard efforts.

It’s football.

So, as I went through my normal Monday routine, I reminded myself of a custom I haven’t experienced, since January 19th ….. I stay away from everything related to the Ravens on mornings following a loss.

It’s hard to digest the bitching and griping. The negativity runs deep on a morning after the Ravens lose. It’s rarely productive and such drama usually just leads to a bad freakin’ start of the week.

As if I need a reason – the Ravens just lost !!!!

Yesterday, I was out of practice. The Ravens haven’t lost in nearly 9 months …..

And, by the time I heard the first caller pleading for a BIG TIME RECEIVER to replace Mark Clayton, followed by a Congressional Inquiry into the NFL’s preferential treatment of Tom Brady, I was ready to take hostages.

Along with this propaganda, I heard a peppering of valued insight. I have no doubt a degree of fact and sobering truth was imbedded in a couple blogs, as well as on-air disclosures by hosts and callers.

I heard and read a few visions regarding the NFL’s stance on ensuring the quarterback is protected, to the greatest extent, while in the pocket. I understand the reasoning – quarterbacks typically control the immediate destiny of a team.

I’m not certain I agree with that concept, but it’s a fair and intelligent argument. Yeah, this is my way of saying it’s not ranked with UFO spottings, pro rasslin’ results and other phony baloney conspiracy theories.

I further understand the NFL’s stake in ensuring the most marketable names are standing on two feet next week – AND enjoying their place on highlight films around the sports world.

In fact, I think the suspicion that the 32 guys comprising the POSSE (Paranoid Owners Seeking Some Earnings) care about the bottom line far more than the competitive integrity of the product is a virtual realism.

“Just Win Baby” has become “Just Sell Baby” …..

I’m sure the ownership groups representing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers have little interest in seeing Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger or the Manning brothers win another Super Bowl.

However, I’d bet they’re hoping to be in the position of one of those teams within the next decade, and they would like to ensure their most marketable name is on the field – selling jerseys and tickets.

The NFL is a different world than other sports …..

In October, 2019, the Yankees and Red Sox will be playing playoff baseball. The same can probably be said for the Lakers and Celtics and their postseason. But, ten years ago, the Colts were just enjoying their first dominating season, in Indianapolis. And, the Patriots had ZERO Super Bowl rings.

A lot of things change in a decade. So, I can see the financial hope and speculation in supporting rules that ensure the game’s biggest stars remain stars, from a marketing perspective. If the Jacksonville Jaguars land the next Peyton Manning, he could make them a viable moneymaking entity, IN JACKSONVILLE.

Okay, the Jags might head for L.A. within the next couple years. But, I’ll guarantee a quarterback of Peyton Manning’s magnitude would appeal to football fans, in Southern California, too.

I have absolutely no doubt the NFL’s owners are driven by greed and money-making potential when instituting these rules that make the quarterback nearly as insulated as the President of the United States.

Surely, I exaggerate. But, you get it, right?

I will respectfully disagree with some of my colleagues – I don’t think the owners are so inspired to protect the quarterbacks, at all costs, in the name of winning. And, I have a few examples to support my argument.

It’s difficult to imagine any team is so dependent on ONE PLAYER …..

The New England Patriots won 11 games, last year, with the hands of a kid at quarterback who never started a game, since high school. The 2007 version of the Cleveland Browns amassed 10 wins with a guy who was cut by a division rival.

A very competent veteran in Jeff Garcia has started and won games for 6 NFL franchises, over the past 7 seasons.

NFL teams don’t need BIG NAME quarterbacks to be successful.

But, the BIG NAME quarterbacks do promote the NFL product. They’re the faces of the league and the blunt reality is this ability to spawn profit is obviously more important than the integrity of what happens on the field.

If you doubt me, consider this …..

A quick glance at Sunday’s recaps evidenced ZERO “Roughing The Passer” penalties in the Redskins/Bucs & Titans/Jaguars games. Now, I’m not going to comb through every single play of every single game. But, I’m pretty sure you know where I’m headed …..

Should I simply assume no defensive players brushed-up against Jason Campbell, Josh Johnson, Kerry Collins or David Garrard? Or, maybe, these guys didn’t jump up and down like Arnold Horshack, from Welcome Back Kotter fame – while crying “he touched me !!!!!”

How masculine of Tom Brady, huh?

Instead of inspiring and rallying his teammates with a cool demeanor, he was flailing around like some baby’s mama hailing a hack, on a North Avenue corner. Real cool, Tom.

And, I’m not buying the “hey, it worked – he got the yellow flag thrown.”

After four games, I’m pretty convinced Tom Brady is very worried about that fragile knee and less worried about 45 feet of free real estate and a new set of downs. He’s doing everything possible to avoid getting hit.

There was a time when I really appreciated the surgeon-like capabilities of Tom Brady. These days, I see a guy who specializes in scolding his teammates for the world to see, while doing anything to avoid a short trip to the ground.

In wrapping this up, I’m inclined to finally clarify my feelings on the outcome of Sunday’s loss. I cannot fathom hanging the balance of any game on one single play. But, I also don’t subscribe to the suggestions the referees’ poor calling didn’t impact the outcome, either.

That’s just not accurate.

They made plenty of calls that extended scoring drives for the Patriots. This absolutely matters. The result cannot be changed, but the referees had a hand in the circumstances of this loss.

That’s it, I’m done with it. I’m ready for the Bengals.

But, I won’t forget Sunday’s debacle. I behaved like an ass. Tom Brady behaved like a baby. And, the referees ….. well, they behaved like a group of guys who’d never done their jobs, at such a high level, before.

Enough said, and lets just hope Carson Palmer hasn’t joined the NFL’s “Endangered Species” list, too ……

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What Are They Doing?

Posted on 18 November 2008 by WNST Interns

So, I’m watching Monday Night Football last night and I see the match-up. With all of the great match-ups around the league and all of the traditional powers in the league, we get the Cleveland Browns versus the Buffalo Bills. That doesn’t even sound exciting, and I’m a “junkie.”

Now, it turned out to be a very exciting football game, but that’s beside the point. MNF is not for those of us who are going to watch regardless, it’s for people who are looking for a reason to go out and drink Coors Light. MNF is for people who don’t usually watch football, but watch on Monday night because it’ pop culture. This night should be reserved for a familiar match-up. It’s not for ESPN to get cute and think they know something we don’t know.

Who looked at the NFL schedule and said, “The Browns vs. the Bills is going to be the best match-up of week 11?” That’s what MNF should be about. We should look at the schedule each week and see, potentially, the best match-up of the week in the NFL. You could argue with another game, but there’s no way the Browns vs. Bills could ever have the potential to be the best match-up of the week.

Here’s my request. Can ESPN please get the best potential match-ups of the week for MNF? We don’t want the “flavor of the month” team like the Cleveland Browns. That team had too many prime-time games because so many thought they would be good this year.

Let’s stick with what we know people. The Patriots, Cowboys, Giants, Bucs, Steelers, Chargers, and of course the Ravens. Match those guys up with other teams and you have the potential for an entertaining game. You can’t match one traditional bottom of the division team versus another. That’s the potential for disaster in so many ways.

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World Series Game 1 LIVE blog…

Posted on 22 October 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

Hockey Meg wound up in my kitchen again tonight. The Philadelphia sports enthusiast and kryptonite to Drew Forrester’s hatred of the City of Brotherly Love, was pacing the floor.

“The last time they won a playoff game I had just gotten my driver’s license. I’m 32. In 1980, I was 4 years old my dad dragged me into the basement. Said take a look at this as Tug McGraw got the final out. He said, ‘You’ll probably never see this again.’ My brother and I we laughed about it for years. We STILL laugh about it.”

It was 15 years ago this week. The World Series between the Phillies and the Blue Jays. God, how I hated the Blue Jays after their years of torturing the Orioles. I covered every game of the Series. I got written about in the Philadelphia Daily News and thought that was pretty cool, even though I had written for a newspaper for nine years at that point.

Meg and I unwittingly were at the same concert at the Spectrum. The night of Game 4 of the 1993 World Series I was on the field doing a radio show, grabbing Mitch Williams, Curt Schilling, John Vuckovich and others to do my show back in Baltimore. It rained all during batting practice and Madonna was playing across the street.

When the game went into a rain delay that certainly appeared to be one of the 90-minute variety, I went across the street and scored a cheap ticket when a bunch of girls jumped out of a limo and their girlfriend was grounded. They had an extra ticket. I went to see Madonna. Meg, who was also at the concert that night (“she said, ‘F–k Toronto!’ on stage and bore a Phillies jersey and denim shorts” that night as Meg recalls), picked up a World Series program for her brother after the concert. The game went all night and ended like, 18-16.  It was a crazy week. I went to every game. Drove back and forth to Toronto all night. I had tickets to the games, took my friends, took a girl, made friends. It was a magical time in my life.

Ah, memories. Forty will do that to ya.

Tonight, I’m on my couch with Hockey Meg and Agent Orange and my wife watching the game in high def.

Meg is absolutely stoked. She’s bouncing all over the place, nervous. Screaming at Tim McCarver and Joe Buck.

This is good.

******

“They all look so happy just to be there. The fans of both teams, the players. It’s like such a shock.” – Hockey Meg

Meg to my wife: “Where did the cowbells come from?”

My wife: “What a f-ing nuisance. F-ing annoying.”

I admit I have no idea why they’re ringing the damned things. It occurred to me to ask the other night, but I didn’t.

Me to group, random observation: “Any team that has the Backstreet Boys sing the National Anthem for Game 1 of a World Series doesn’t deserve to win a World Series.”
*********

Meg is wearing her baby blue bubble maroon P hat tonight. I had a similar hat back during my decade or two of Phillies’ mania. If any of you read my book, you know that I went to Philadelphia during the summer of 1981 with my paternal father when he paid a surprise visit from Venezuela when I was 12. The Phillies had won the World Series the year before and I had never been to a National League park or seen a National League game.

I was absolutely INTOXICATED with fake green Astroturf, the bubble P, Pete Rose, Michael “Jack” Schmidt, Steve Carlton (and later, Steve Carlson, who was in Slap Shot), and the Phillie Phantic. They became my favorite team that afternoon at The Vet. I was torn during the 1983 World Series.

VERY torn…

Chase Utley just hit a home run.

Meg is stirring on the coach, shaking, spastically yelling, “Chhhhaaaaaaaaa-ssseee Utley!” She says she should be listening to Harry Kalas call this game. I wholeheartedly agree.

She just asked me if I knew that Matt Stairs was Canadian and liked hockey. I told her, Hockey Meg, that I’ve interviewed Stairs many times and I know of his love for the puck. (BTW: Shameless plug. Puck bus is now on sale! Click on the red tab at the bottom.)

Matt Stairs was a great guy and always a great guest. One reason for me to pull for the Phillies.

Pat Gillick was a bit of a turd from time to time. So, I can’t really root for him. Didn’t dislike him but we had our differences. I respect him immensely and think he’s brilliant, but he never made me “pull for him.” I’m indifferent, but I think it’s great fodder that he might be holding the trophy in another clubhouse champagne shower in October while Angelos pads his pockets with MASN money and the team sucks for the 11th year in a row.

Dare I say the “ghost of Pat Gillick”…

Jayson Werth was a great guy. He was an O’s first round draft pick, all around decent guy. One more reason for me to pull for the Phillies.

Joe Maddon is a guy who I’ve had several encounters with and all of them extremely positive. Maddon’s a right guy. This makes me pull for the Rays.

Rick Vaughn, who is the Rays P.R. guy, is probably my closest association to the World Series and I’m honestly pulling for them more because of him than anything else. I’m honestly kinda rooting for the Rays, deep down.

Like I said, I LOVED the Phillies from 1981 til the late 1990’s when my closeness to the Orioles brought back my childhood and I just never got into them once they sucked and Schilling got dealt to Arizona. And they changed their jerseys, which has been a recurring theme of my sports fandom: laundry. The Capitals did it and kinda chased me away. Probably same stupid reason for the Phillies as well.

But I’ll also say that I’d be happier for the people of Philadelphia to have a big party than for the fine folks of Tampa to get yet ANOTHER World Championship that no one there really cares all that much about.

The Buccaneers were a sick, civic joke for two decades. They were the butt of any legitimate sports joke of my childhood. If you wikipedia “sucks” I’m sure a creamsickle Bucs logo pops up.

And the Tampa Bay Lightning (if you’ve heard of them) actually won the Stanley Cup two years ago. They beat the Flyers, incidentally.
Tampa doesn’t need another championship. And certainly not for the Rays, anyway. It’s the worst supported franchise in the league. The team probably shouldn’t exist, truth be told. And I got a pair of tickets for Game 7 the other night for $40.

Who’s going to argue that Tampa even deserves a TEAM, let alone a championship.

So, much like Hockey Meg’s comment about everyone being “happy to be there” – I guess I’m happy to be sitting on my couch blogging, watching and thinking about how much fun baseball can be when it’s done right.

I’m having a fun night. I’m having MORE fun than I had in Tampa the other night, really.

And I’m not going to cry either way with this World Series.

I’ll honestly feel good for whoever wins, but probably better for the Philadelphia people who’ve waited since 1980 to win. I remember where I was that night, too. In my living room with my Pop watching the final out. Tug McGraw, George Brett (my favorite player), hemorrhoids, water fountains, Astroturf — how can you not remember that stuff?

********

Hockey Meg to me: “Does the fake grass in Tampa really look that bad in person?”
Me (who went to Game 7 of ALCS on Sunday night): “Kinda dingy. Like it came from a lot outside the Home Depot.”
Hockey Meg: “Look at how bad that looks. All patchy and discolored and crappy. We all have good TVs now and if it looks that bad in high def I figure it probably looks bad in person.”

She’s right.

****

We all admit we’re having fun.

Agent Orange says: “It’s always a lot more fun watching the game with friends!”

I say, “Why do you think I make the goofy videos. It’s more fun to share your experience with people.”

Being at Game 7 the other night was made more fun by sending goofy text pictures to my son and my baseball buddies.

Baseball is about friends and bringing people together.

Free The Birds.

Incidentally, I’m wearing my “I have delusions of grandeur” shirt tonight.

I think it’s fitting while watching the Tampa Bay Rays host a World Series game in St. Peterburg.

I wonder if Peter Angelos even watches the World Series, or whether he even cares about baseball.

It’s sickening watching all of these fake Tampa Bay Rays fans. The people who’ve been on the bandwagon for about four weeks now.

With hundreds of people sporting “Ray hawk” mohawk haircuts in Marge Simpson blue, it’s almost comical. In July, they didn’t even know their name wasn’t the Devil Rays anymore.

The Phils are up 1-0.

Another loss by the Rays tonight could make this a short-lived series.

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Usually I do my weekly Fantasy Football blog, but…

Posted on 25 September 2008 by WNST Interns

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Matthew Tryson Bryant, the 3-month-old son of Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Matt Bryant, died Wednesday.

“I don’t have a lot of details,” coach Jon Gruden said after practice. “It’s just a horrible tragedy, and I can’t explain it.”

Bryant, a seventh-year pro in his fourth season with Tampa Bay, kicked a winning field goal in overtime against Chicago last Sunday. Two years ago, he made the third-longest field goal in NFL history, a 62-yarder to beat Philadelphia.

“The entire Buccaneer family is deeply saddened by this tragedy,” general manager Bruce Allen said in a team statement.

“The Bryants have been an inspiration to our entire community through their commitment to their family and their exhaustive efforts working with children and those in need in the Bay area. Our thoughts and prayers are with Matt and Melissa during this difficult time.”

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UPDATE: Simms in Baltimore, Pittman waived

Posted on 01 September 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

Updated at 2:27 p.m.

Orioles broadcaster and Mr. Angelos employee, Jim Hunter, apparently boarded an airplane with former Bucs quarterback Chris Simms in Tampa this morning bound for BWI.

MASN is reporting that Simms is heading to Owings Mills for a job interview.

Meanwhile, the Ravens PR has released this: The Baltimore Ravens have waived the following player (injured):

David Pittman (CB, 5-11, 185, 3rd-year, Northwestern State)

Baltimore has also signed the following players to its practice squad:

Nate Lawrie (TE, 6-6, 255, 4th-year, Yale)
Marcus Mason (RB, 5-9, 215, 1st-year, Youngstown State)
Bryan Mattison (DE, 6-3, 272, Rookie, Iowa)
Matt Willis (WR, 5-11, 190, 2nd-year, UCLA)

Not a surprise to see Simms in town given the Ravens’ frustrating quarterback depth situation.

At best they only have two live arms for practice on Wednesday as they prep for the Bengals: Joe Flacco (who they don’t want to start but it appears that’s the way it’s going to be) and Casey Bramlet, who looked better coming off a plane 15 hours before gametime than most QBs have looked here over the last decade.

Troy Smith’s illness remains a mystery (and the Ravens and NFL don’t ever discuss personal illnesses with media as a business and privacy practice). Kyle Boller’s labrum isn’t a mystery to anyone any more and he won’t be playing anytime soon.

So, on comes Chris Simms, the former king of Austin and most of the state of Texas.

Casey will have more from the complex in Owings Mills in a few hours.

Don’t forget to join us Wednesday night at Della Roses in Canton Crossing for the premier of “Billick Live.”

More major WNST announcements will be made on Wednesday night.

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