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Ravens-Dolphins: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 08 September 2019 by Luke Jones

The Ravens begin their 2019 season where they dream it will culminate five months from now.

Miami will host Super Bowl LIV in early February, but the rebuilding Dolphins first stand in the way of a 1-0 start Sunday. The opener is a homecoming for second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson and rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown, who both grew up less than 30 miles away from Hard Rock Stadium. The Ravens hope Sunday will be the start of a special connection between the first-round talents in the years to come, but the two did not play together in any preseason games.

After helping lead the Ravens to a 6-1 finish and their first AFC North championship since 2012 as a rookie, Jackson will become the first quarterback not named Joe Flacco to start an opener for Baltimore since the late Steve McNair in 2007. The 22-year-old is the second-youngest quarterback to make a season-opening start for the Ravens with only Kyle Boller being younger back in 2003.

As expected, Brown is active and will make his NFL debut after spending much of the offseason recovering from Lisfranc surgery on his left foot. Head coach John Harbaugh deemed the Oklahoma product “full-go” physically at the beginning of the week, but Brown was added to the injury report Thursday and missed Friday’s practice, a reminder that the condition of his foot remains a factor.

Despite not playing in the preseason while recovering from a fracture in his right thumb, Robert Griffin III is active and will serve as the backup quarterback a day after his wife gave birth to their daughter. Rookie quarterback Trace McSorley is inactive.

Third-round rookie Jaylon Ferguson headlines the list of remaining inactives for Week 1. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale was complimentary of Ferguson’s late-summer improvement earlier this week, but he is fifth in the pecking order at the edge rusher position and has yet to carve out a role on special teams, making his deactivation less surprising.

The Ravens also deactivated rookie defensive tackle Daylon Mack, leaving them lighter in the trenches despite the Miami heat. That will be a real factor to watch over the course of the afternoon with just four true defensive linemen — Brandon Williams, Michael Pierce, Chris Wormley, and part-time fullback Patrick Ricard — active.

With Bradley Bozeman expected to start at left guard after working with the starters throughout the week and in the latter stages of the preseason, rookie guard Ben Powers and second-year offensive tackle Greg Senat were healthy scratches. Baltimore will go into Week 1 with veteran James Hurst and rookie Patrick Mekari as backups who’ve shown more versatility.

Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson (hip) and safety Bobby McCain (shoulder) are active despite being limited in practices throughout the week.

Sunday’s referee is Jerome Boger.

According to Weather.com, the Sunday forecast in Miami calls for partly cloudy skies and temperatures around 90 degrees at kickoff with winds 10 to 15 miles per hour and only a slight chance of an afternoon thunderstorm. However, it will feel like it’s over 100 degrees on the field Sunday afternoon, a factor to watch over the course of the game.

The Ravens are wearing purple jerseys and white pants while Miami dons white jerseys and white pants at home for Week 1.

Sunday marks the sixth time in the last seven years that the Ravens and Dolphins have met in the regular season with Baltimore holding a 7-6 lead in the all-time regular-season series. Including the postseason, Harbaugh is 7-1 against Miami.

The Ravens are aiming for their fourth straight season-opening win and are 8-3 in openers under Harbaugh.

Below are Sunday’s inactives:

BALTIMORE
OLB Jaylon Ferguson
QB Trace McSorley
WR Jaleel Scott
ILB Otaro Alaka
OT Greg Senat
G Ben Powers
DT Daylon Mack

MIAMI
CB Ken Webster
Rb Myles Gaskin
RB Patrick Laird
G Shaq Calhoun
OL Chris Reed
OT Isaiah Prince
LB Trent Harris

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Twelve Ravens thoughts from Greg Roman’s press conference

Posted on 19 February 2019 by Luke Jones

With Greg Roman meeting with the media for the first time since his promotion to offensive coordinator, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. The theme from Tuesday’s press conference was the “reimagining” of the Ravens offense “from the ground up” with Roman even comparing the process to a brand new coaching staff joining a team. That seems telling after so many questioned the sustainability of the post-bye offensive system last year.

2. Roman went out of his way to mention how the staff was incorporating college elements, ranging from how modern players learn offensive systems to formations and even the calling of plays at that level. That’s interesting for a staff that doesn’t have a ton of recent college coaching experience.

3. Beyond improving his ball security, the greatest offseason focus for Lamar Jackson will be refining his fundamentals and mechanics as a passer, according to Roman. The coordinator opined that certain elements may not have been emphasized very much during his college career.

4. Asked what he likes about Jackson as a passer, Roman praised his field vision and compared it to that of Steve McNair, whom he worked with in his first stint with the Ravens from 2006-07. He said that kind of feel can’t be coached and gives Jackson a higher ceiling.

5. Like John Harbaugh last month, Roman didn’t disclose many details about Jackson’s offseason football plans, but he noted how this is essentially his first true offseason after he went through the pre-draft process last year. It’s a critical one for Jackson to make that fundamental jump.

6. When discussing his play-calling, Roman mentioned not wanting to leave “popcorn on the ground” for the opposing defense to be able to call out their plays. I don’t believe that was a dig at Marty Mornhinweg, but I couldn’t help but think about the playoff loss when he said it.

7. Speaking of the popcorn comment, Roman compared adjusting Jackson’s speed to a pitcher striking you out in the first couple at-bats and said the rebuilding of the offense was like kneading dough and putting together IKEA furniture. He had no shortage of interesting analogies, which I appreciated.

8. To no surprise, Roman mentioned “a strong, powerful” offensive line as the most important element in building an offense around Jackson. You’d have to think upgrading at left guard or center — ideally, both — remains a priority.

9. On the same day Hayden Hurst indicated he finally had the screw removed from his foot that stemmed from his August surgery for a stress fracture, Roman expressed excitement about both him and fellow tight end Mark Andrews and how creative he wants to be with their usage.

10. Echoing Eric DeCosta from last month, Roman mentioned wanting wide receivers with strong blocking ability and a “tough guy” element. That’ll be an emphasis in the draft and free agency, but I feel the need to express hope that they’ll find one or two also possessing the position’s traditional traits.

11. For those dreaming of a Le’Veon Bell signing, Roman preferring a “stable” of running backs and saying a receiving-minded back isn’t a top priority would probably make it unwise to hold your breath for the pursuit of the Pittsburgh Steeler free agent. Not that I expected it anyway.

12. I’m unsure how this is going to go with a “reimagined” offense driven by the run in an NFL leaning so heavily on the pass, but I respect trying to go against the grain for a competitive advantage. How big a passing jump Jackson makes remains the biggest key, however.

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Where are you getting your Baltimore sports news & information? Sharing is caring…

Posted on 29 January 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

This blog was originally published two years ago. We’ll be revisiting this with a three-part series and updating these thoughts with a new 2012 WNST “State of Baltimore Sports Media” survey next week while we broadcast live from Indianapolis all week. This is Part 3 of 5: The State of Baltimore Sports Media (circa 2010).

The saddest day of 2009 for any Ravens fan was also the day that I saw the state of the world had changed for WNST.net via the instant power of our text service. On the 4th of July at 4:17 p.m. I was sitting at home watching midday holiday baseball when I got a tip from a friend that Steve McNair had been murdered.

After receiving that quick text, I jumped onto the computer and saw that every Tennessee TV station was reporting his murder within the previous five minutes. At 4:21 p.m. more than 3,900 people received a WNST Text reporting the only facts we knew: “Tennessee media is reporting that Steve McNair has been murdered. More to come…”

At 4:50 p.m., ESPN finally reported it. And at 5:37 p.m. – a full 76 minutes later, The Sun finally had it on their website.

While I was blogging feverishly, looking for any information I could get from Nashville in the first 30 minutes on a sweltering holiday summer day – monitoring all of their TV stations and newspapers and fielding a wide variety of emails, Tweets and texts – apparently the 3,900 people on our WNST Text Service had taken matters into their own hands in forwarding our message to tens of thousands of other people like a game of virtual phone booth. More than 23,000 people had visited my blog by 8 p.m. on a premier national holiday on a day when virtually no one was in front of a computer. They were all coming from the palms of theirs hands via their mobile devices.

THAT – in the previous 25 years of my media existence — would have been impossible in the old, dinosaur world of local news. And it certainly would’ve been exclusively the area of the three local TV stations and, probably, WBAL Radio. But in the new world, they were all coming to the local source of the breaking sports news: WNST.net.

But the one thing about our WNST Text Service that often goes without saying is this: when we report it, you KNOW it’s true. Through our own goodwill, hard work and credibility, we have established a reputation for never, ever being wrong on a news story. And there are now more than 5,200 of you on the WNST Text Service.

Join the WNST Text Service…

And it goes without say that “timeliness” and the element of surprise is, in fact, the essence of what makes it “news.” News is immediate. News is shareable. News is eternal.

And, clearly, not all news is good.

But the depth of our content was also apparent on that sad, summer day. Ironically, we had video of Steve McNair joining about 1,200 Ravens fans in Nashville to greet them from January of last year before the big playoff game in our You Tube video vault. It’s a really weird clip — especially given it was the last time he’d do anything with his Baltimore roots. We raised $5,000 that night last January for the Air McNair Foundation and the Baltimore Ronald McDonald House. I had given very little thought that night at Limelight in Nashville that I would never see Steve McNair alive again.

Like most breaking news stories – and all tragedies – it was completely unpredictable that Steve McNair could die

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Mason says it’s up to Ravens to decide if he returns

Posted on 26 July 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — On a day when players were thrilled to return to the Ravens training facility, receiver Derrick Mason faced the sobering possibility of leaving a place he’s called home for the final time.

Though it doesn’t become official until Thursday, the 37-year-old wideout will be released in a cap-saving move, along with veterans Todd Heap, Kelly Gregg, and Willis McGahee. Mason was at the facility for his exit physical and met with general manager Ozzie Newsome.

After spending the last six seasons in Baltimore, becoming the Ravens’ all-time leading receiver, Mason remains upbeat and willing to return — if the Ravens want him.

“If they want me back, I’m back,” Mason said. “That’s all I can say. Now, if some other team wants me, then I think that’s one of those things you have to look at. My first thought would be to come back here. This has been my football home for the last six years, so why leave it so abruptly? I’m going to do what I can, and hopefully they’ll do what they need to do in order to try to bring me back. If not, hey, I can play football.”

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Mason caught 471 passes and 29 touchdowns from 2005 to 2010, including a career-high 103 catches in 2007. He is the only Ravens receiver to record a 100-catch season in the 15-year history of the franchise.

Serving as the union representative before and during the 134-day lockout, Mason was asked if he now had an empty feeling after learning of his impending release on the same day that the lengthy labor battle came to a culmination.

“[We were] trying to make football better, and we accomplished that,” Mason said. “Football is better, because we were out of football for 134 days. And because of the hard work that we put in – the executive committee, DeMaurice [Smith] – football is much better than it was.”

Mason understood the business decision made by Newsome, reminding everyone that he faced a similar fate with the Tennessee Titan, but had nothing but kind words to say about the organization and city he’s called home since 2005. He was set to make $4.5 million in the final year of a two-year agreement signed on March 10, 2010.

He arrived in Baltimore when Kyle Boller was still considered the quarterback of the future, welcomed his former Tennessee teammate Steve McNair, and eventually became the safety net for current quarterback Joe Flacco.

“Why am I going to be upset? It is what it is,” said Mason, ironically while his agent was calling him. “I have no reason to be upset. This organization gave me an opportunity six years ago to further my career. Only thing I’m disappointed with is I didn’t get an opportunity to win a championship. That’s the only thing I’m disappointed [about].

“This organization has been more than accommodating, the fans have been more than accommodating. I don’t think you can play for a better organization than this one.”

With an entire offseason condensed into a matter of days, it’s difficult to predict if Mason will be back in purple when the Ravens take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 or if he’ll be running sideline routes for another team looking for a steady possession receiver to move the chains.

One thing is certain, however. Mason doesn’t doubt his ability to keep playing — even in the November of his career.

“My gut says I can still play football,” Mason said. “Where? I don’t know. It might be playing football when I’m in the backyard with my son. I don’t know, but I still can play football. That’s what [my gut] says to me.”

Listen to Derrick Mason’s entire conversation with the media at 1 Winning Drive in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here.

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Ravens appear to be ready for the NFL's elite teams .....

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Ravens appear to be ready for the NFL’s elite teams …..

Posted on 11 October 2010 by WNST Interns

For the past few years, we’ve been accustomed to witnessing some dismal, yet predictable outcomes whenever the Ravens play the National Football League’s best competition. Such shortcomings are undoubtedly tied to a few mitigating reasons, but most importantly, the opponents have simply been better teams.

Of course, for the purpose of this conversation, “best competition” = INDIANAPOLIS COLTS and NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS.

Dating back to 2002, the Ravens have amassed a collective record of 1-11 against the Colts and Patriots. You got that? ONE WIN and ELEVEN LOSSES.

If we’re searching for answers, a few likely conclusions come to mind …..

The Colts and Patriots have outcoached the Ravens.

The Colts and Patriots have outperformed the Ravens.

The Colts and Patriots have outgutted the Ravnes.

And, as we all know, the Colts and Patriots have these guys …..
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While Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have merited the significant hand in matchups against a young Joe Flacco, Kyle Boller, Steve McNair, Anthony Wright, Jeff Blake and Chris Redman, an even greater reality exists in justifying such one-sided dominance.

The Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots have simply been been better teams. Heck, they’ve been the BEST teams of the last decade.

The Ravens have mounted some very spirited efforts against Indy and New England …..

Rewind the clock to December of 2007. On a blustery, snow flurried night, the Ravens nearly upset the undefeated Patriots, at M&T Bank Stadium. But, in the final seconds, the better team prevailed.

How about the trip to Indianapolis, in October of 2002? The Ravens lost a heartbreaker, thanks in part to an Oscar winning performance by former Raven, Qadry Ismail, on a disputable last minute pass interference call. But, once again, the better team prevailed.

The real reason the Ravens own ONE WIN against ELEVEN LOSSES in most recent matchups with the Colts and Patriots really boils down to the more talented team making things happen when it matters most. Indeed, this is a quality winners possess.

It also appears to be a quality the 2010 edition of the Baltimore Ravens are developing.

Yesterday’s win against the Denver Broncos didn’t really showcase any last minute heroics from Flacco & Company, but it did feature a well balanced offensive attack and this season’s first glimpse of a proposed powerful Ravens running game.

While Joe Flacco did not bring loud applause from his respective fantasy football owners, he did manage the game appropriately. He picked on a vulnerable secondary fill-in, when needed. And, he led an offensive effort that clearly wanted to win more than the Broncos defenders on the other side of the ball.

With exception to the hiccup in Cincinnati, the Ravens have improved their overall effort each and every week. And, the wins are coming with contributions from many facets of the team’s makeup. Yesterday, Ray Rice dominated. Last week, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Flacco stepped up at the biggest moment. Two weeks ago, Anquan Boldin burned the Browns.
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This is exactly how the Colts and Patriots have exploited the last decade. While Manning and Brady figure into every game’s outcome, they’ve reliably spread the ball, opportunities and credit among teammates.

Past games against the Colts or Patriots did not feature such an exercised strategy and performance from the Ravens. Years ago, Jamal Lewis was the lone offensive weapon, and more recently, Ray Rice and Derrick Mason have been the only real threats. Of course, the team’s defense has been heavily depended upon in each and every game.

But, it appears things are changing …..

Next Sunday, the Ravens will march into Foxboro with a more lethal offense than Bill Belichick has ever witnessed. Such a reality provides an optimistic feeling on this side of the fence. The Ravens pounded a “Welker-less” Patriots team, back in January. And, last October’s game …. well, lets just say that’s the game that slipped or “bounced” (off the chest of Mark Clayton) away.

There is legitimate reason to believe the Ravens are every bit as good as the Patriots. For the record, I think the Ravens are a better, balanced team.

That said, the Patriots are coming off their bye-week. And, history suggests Tom Brady is a very hard guy to beat when his team has two weeks to concentrate on an opponent. Regardless of the loss of Randy Moss, the Patriots will not lay down like the Broncos, nor will they be as unimaginative as the Steelers and Browns.

Next Sunday serves as a true test of the Baltimore Ravens legitimacy as an ELITE team in the National Football League.

It’s been nearly 9 years since the Ravens defeated the Colts or Patriots in a regular season contest. In the near-decade of matchups, Ravens losses have occurred in nearly every imaginable way. From last minute disappointments, to lackluster performances, to total blowouts, the Ravens have walked away from losses against the Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in nearly every possible scenario.

But, as I’ve suggested, that can really change next week. We could indeed witness the emergence of a couple of the NFL’s next BIG STARS …..
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And, to be quite honest, that’s the way it has to happen. Ray Rice is already on the brink and with yesterday’s showing, he’s primed to renew his 2009 outburst. With Joe Flacco, he needs the stage of serving notice on one of the guys who has done it many times. Beating Tom Brady, on successive efforts would be huge.

Most of all, the Ravens need to beat the Patriots, because that’s what winners do; they beat the good and bad teams.

Beating one of the two teams that has dominated the NFL for so long would establish a new dominance for the Ravens, and I think it would serve as a psychological step in the belief they can beat any team.

The Ravens are better than the Patriots, and in 6 days they’ll have an opportunity to prove it …..

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History on Ravens’ side after opening win against Jets

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Luke Jones

Mark Sanchez continues to talk like he’s taken too many “hard knocks” to the head, boasting “there’s nothing wrong with going 15-1” to the New York Post after an embarrassing 74-yard performance on Monday night, but the Ravens (1-0) now put the delusional Jets in the rear-view mirror and shift their focus to the Cincinnati Bengals — and the accompanying Twitter sparring with Chad Ochocinco.

As ugly as it may have been, what does the 10-9 victory mean for the Ravens and their fate in the 2010 season? If history is any indication, good things await.

In reality, a victory in Week 1 counts no more or less than the remaining 15 games on the schedule. But from the time the schedule is released in April, the opening game and opponent is dissected — even obsessed over — for nearly five months, longer than any other game the Ravens could potentially play this season, including the Super Bowl. It means more only because we — fans and media — look forward to it for so long.

However, the team’s first 14 seasons in Baltimore suggests the first game is a strong indicator of how the team will fare for the entire season. The Ravens had previously won six openers, subsequently advancing to the postseason five times. Of the eight times the Ravens fell in Week 1, they made the playoffs just once.

Of course, many variables factor into the Week 1 outcome and its correlation with season-long success, such as the quality of the opponent, the team’s overall health, and whether they start at home or away. In most cases — as is the case around the league — the Ravens won the opener when they were expected to be good and lost when they weren’t.

For perspective, of the 12 teams to advance to the playoffs in 2009, only the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals lost in Week 1. Logically and quite obviously, playoff teams win more often than they lose, so it’s unsurprising to look back at Week 1 success as a fairly accurate predictor in most cases.

Considering most playoff teams will lose somewhere in the range of four to six games and most bad squads will win four to six, the Ravens’ strong Week 1 correlation with the season’s postseason fate is interesting to examine. Of their 14 previous seasons in Baltimore, an opening Ravens win meant playoffs and a loss meant no postseason 86 percent of the time (accurate 12 of 14 years).

As was the case with the Bengals and Cardinals a season ago, losing the opener does not sentence a team for failure, so perhaps the Jets won’t need to muzzle the trash talk just yet (as if they need anyone’s blessing anyway?). The 2003 Super Bowl champion Patriots are the perfect example, finishing with a 14-2 record after losing 31-0 to the Bills in Week 1. Buffalo finished 6-10 despite the shocking victory over the eventual champs.

A look back at the Ravens’ history in Week 1 reveals several teams with high expectations who disappointed after a season-opening loss and a couple that laid the groundwork for great seasons with a surprising victory to begin the year.

The Ravens’ opening opponent and result is listed below with their final record and postseason fate listed in parentheses:

1996 Oakland W (4-12, missed playoffs)
1997 Jacksonville L (6-9-1, missed playoffs)
1998 Pittsburgh L (6-10, missed playoffs)
1999 @St. Louis L (8-8, missed playoffs)
2000 @Pittsburgh W (12-4, won Super Bowl)
2001 Chicago W (10-6, earned wild-card berth)
2002 @Carolina L (7-9, missed playoffs)
2003 @Pittsburgh L (10-6, won AFC North)
2004 @Cleveland L (9-7, missed playoffs)
2005 Indianapolis L (6-10, missed playoffs)
2006 @Tampa Bay W (13-3, won AFC North)
2007 @Cincinnati L (5-11, missed playoffs)
2008 Cincinnati W (11-5, earned wild-card berth and advanced to AFC Championship)
2009 Kansas City W (9-7, earned wild-card berth)
2010 @New York Jets W (???)

The inaugural 1996 team was the only one not to qualify for the postseason after opening with a victory. In contrast, the 2003 Ravens won the franchise’s first AFC North title despite a humbling 34-15 defeat to the Steelers at Heinz Field in rookie Kyle Boller’s first start.

Expectations were high in 2004, 2005, and 2007, but the Ravens laid a Week 1 egg in each case, setting the table for disappointing seasons in which they missed the playoffs. However, nobody thought the 2008 Ravens — with rookie head coach John Harbaugh and rookie quarterback Joe Flacco — would go on to an 11-5 season and an appearance in the conference championship game, but their bruising 17-10 victory over the Bengals showed what was to come.

Taking a deeper look at the Ravens’ Week 1 history might cause fans to book their hotels and airfare for the Dallas area in the first week of February after the win at New Meadowlands Stadium on Monday night. The only other times the Ravens have begun the season with a road victory were 2000 and 2006.

In 2006, the Ravens had moderate expectations after the trade for veteran quarterback Steve McNair, but a dominating 27-0 victory at Tampa Bay was the first step to a 13-3 record, the best regular season record in franchise history.

And what followed in the weeks and months after the Ravens’ 16-0 victory at Three Rivers Stadium to begin the 2000 campaign? I think you remember that story.

In reality, the 2010 version of the Ravens is a different team with no connection to previous seasons, other than the ageless Ray Lewis leading the defense for the 15th straight year. Nearly 23 percent of the players on the current 53-man roster played elsewhere in 2009.

But if the team’s history in Week 1 provides an accurate window to what lies ahead for Baltimore, Monday night was a far more beautiful sight than what the ugly 10-9 win might have indicated to a national TV audience.

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Greatest Ravens by jersey number (1-20)

Posted on 25 August 2010 by Luke Jones

With Sports Illustrated releasing its list of all-time best NFL players by jersey number this week, I decided to look back at the 15-year history of the Baltimore Ravens to construct a list of the greatest players for Nos. 1-99.

Some jersey numbers provide for good debate (Sam Adams or Jarret Johnson for No. 95?) while other integers provide quite the challenge to simply produce a warm body (Who was your favorite No. 46 to suit up for the Ravens?).

Some choices are obvious, others might anger you, and a few will make you say, “Who?” but let the debate begin.

1 Randall Cunningham (2001)

There was really no other choice here. Some Ravens fans are still hollering for Brian Billick to replace Elvis Grbac with the veteran backup.

2 Anthony Wright (2002-05)

No one will forget Wright tossing four touchdown passes to little-used receiver Marcus Robinson, as the journeyman quarterback engineered the greatest comeback in franchise history against the Seattle Seahawks in 2003.

3 Matt Stover (1996-2008)

Never mind the fact that he’s the only player to sport the number 3 in franchise history. There is actually a Stover tribute video on YouTube.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIxu_XtNNn0&p=C92451BE03B3F6A3&playnext=1&index=28[/youtube]

4 Sam Koch (2006-present)

With apologies to the current Ravens head coach’s brother Jim, who played quarterback for the Ravens in 1998, the current Ravens punter is the clear choice for No. 4.

5 Joe Flacco (2008-present)

The franchise quarterback won three playoff games in his first two seasons in the league. Not a bad start.

6 Steve Hauschka (2008-09)

Yes, I’m well aware of this…
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6w8marhWJ8[/youtube]

The only other option here was J.R. Jenkins, the kickoff specialist in 2002. On second thought, Jenkins really got some distance on those kicks!

7 Kyle Boller (2003-08)

I realize most have already clicked back on their browser window after these last two picks, but the former Cal quarterback is still the franchise leader in total passing yards.
Boller
I’m not sure you were aware, but I once heard he could throw the football through the uprights. From the 50-yard line. On his knees.

8 Trent Dilfer (2000)

Flacco may be the toast of the town in 2010, but he has some work to do before making anyone forget about this guy.
Dilfer

9 Steve McNair (2006-07)

Many remember his poor playoff performance against Indianapolis in January 2007 and his miserable final season in Baltimore, but his arrival in 2006 helped orchestrate the best regular season record (13-3) in franchise history.

10 Eric Zeier (1996-98)

A punting performance by Kordell Stewart in 2004 and the brief hero-worship of Stoney Case in 1999 earn bizarre mentions here, but Zeier had six 100-plus quarterback rating performances and three 250-yard games in his three-year career in Baltimore. Height (listed at 6-foot-1) prevented the Georgia quarterback from getting a legitimate chance as the starter.

11 Jeff Blake (2002)

The former Bengal is the clear-cut choice here, but no one will forget him chuckling with Steelers coach Bill Cowher moments after tossing an interception in the end zone in the final seconds of a loss at Pittsburgh in 2002.

12 Vinny Testaverde (1996-97)

One of the most maligned quarterbacks in NFL history, Testaverde still owns the finest passing season in franchise history when he threw for 4,177 yards and 33 touchdowns in 1996.

Tony Banks gets consideration here with his five touchdown passes in the Ravens’ thrilling 39-36 comeback victory over Jacksonville in Week 2 of the 2000 season, a pivotal moment in the history of the franchise. Things fell apart quickly for Banks before eventually being replaced by Dilfer several weeks later.

13 Eron Riley* (2009-present)

Research indicated no player has worn No. 13 in the regular season for the Ravens. Riley wears the number on the preseason roster and was a member of the practice squad a year ago.

14 Wally Richardson (1997-98)

The pride of Happy Valley, Richardson was the third-string quarterback for two seasons and threw for one yard on two career attempts in the NFL.

15 Dave Zastudil (2002-05)

The front office took heat for drafting “The Weapon” in the fourth round of the 2002 draft, but Zastudil was a quality punter for four seasons before signing with the Browns.

16 Yamon Figurs (2007-08)

Tremendous speed that produced two touchdown returns his rookie season, but Figurs could never put it to use as a receiver.

17 David Tyree (2009)

Shayne Graham immediately takes this distinction if he makes the 53-man roster next month, but receiver Matt Willis (2007) was the only other option for this number. Besides, you may remember Tyree for something else a couple of years before his brief stop in Baltimore…
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-aKfTK2LiM[/youtube]

18 Elvis Grbac (2001)

Other than Boller a few years later, no player faced the wrath of Ravens fans quite like Grbac. The former Pro Bowl quarterback came to town with intense pressure to lead a repeat in 2001, but Grbac had no chance when Jamal Lewis was lost for the season after tearing his ACL early in training camp.
Grbac
He went down in flames against Pittsburgh in the playoffs and retired a few months later, but name a quarterback who would have won with Terry Allen and Jason Brookins as his feature backs that season.

19 Johnny Unitas*

Yes, I’m well aware Johnny U never played a down for the Ravens, but did you really think I could put this guy on the list?
Mitchell

20 Ed Reed (2002-present)

A nanosecond-long nod goes to the Super Bowl-winning safety Kim Herring, but Reed is the easiest choice among the numbers previously worn by other players. The ball-hawking safety is unquestionably one of the greatest free safeties in the history of the game.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVgUpwxR8Qg&feature=related[/youtube]

Next up: Find out which member of the Ring of Honor didn’t make the cut as I reveal the greatest Ravens for Nos. 21-40.

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A Sports World Look At The 4th Of July .....

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A Sports World Look At The 4th Of July …..

Posted on 05 July 2010 by WNST Interns

Well, another 4th Of July has come and gone. It was a relatively uneventful holiday in this house; grilling dinner, cold beer and fireworks. But, from a personally historical perspective, I can add a damn good pitching performance by Brian Matusz and a few head scratching All Star selections to my list of things I’ll remember about this July 4th.

The true meaning of INDEPENDENCE DAY is much more important than anything spirited in the realm of sports and competition. From the declaration of a freedom from the Kingdom of Britain, to the inventory of thousands of bodies upon the battlefields of Gettysburg, the day commemorates the inception of the AMERICAN WAY.

Over the last century, the celebration of July 4th has certainly included our love for sports. It’s an absolute tradition. Doesn’t everyone have a “July 4th” sports-themed memory or two (or twenty) from their lifetime?

Of course, just like every other day, the sun rises and sets. People are born, injured, married, arrested, hired, fired and even killed.

But July 4th is still regarded as a day of American Pride and enjoying SPORTS, along with cookouts, fireworks and family. In the truth of it being a very REAL day, here are some distinct memories ….
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1923 – Fists Of Fireworks
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Jack Dempsey knocks out Jess Willard to capture the Heavyweight Championship of the World. He knocked Willard down SEVEN TIMES in the first round.
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Dempsey would finish his career with a 60-7 record, including a 2-0 resume’ during Independence Day fights. He is regarded as the GREATEST BOXER in history, by many experts.
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1929 – How Is This Possible?
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Peter Angelos and Al Davis are born on the same exact day and year. How is THAT possible? I suppose there really is some truth to this whole Astronomy thing, huh?
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Quick, when were Danny Snyder and Jeffrey Loria born? There must be a common connection somewhere along this bizarre trail. ** For the record, I know George Steinbrenner was born on July 4th, too. However, I think he’s dug himself out of this group.
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1939 – The Luckiest Man Retires
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Lou Gehrig, recently diagnosed with ALS humbly bows out from the game that made him a household name in New York and around the world.
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Known and regarded as a great ballplayer in LIFE, Gehrig would be remembered as the “Original Ironman” and a standard of courage after his death.
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1964 – The “Show” Must Go On !!!!
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The Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals square off in a twilght showdown at Memorial Stadium. Although, Boog Powell connected for his 21st homerun of the season, the game is halted as an official 6-6 tie after 8 innings.
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Did it rain? No …. the City of Baltimore stopped the game so that a pre-planned fireworks show could take place. How’s that for 33rd Street trivia?
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1976 – Borg Is Absolutely Perfect
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Bjorn Borg was the definition of UNBEATABLE on this day, just 34 years ago. He defeated Ilie Nastase to capture first of five consecutive (1976-1980) Wimbledon Championships.
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The astonishing part? Bjorn Born didn’t lose a single set during the 1976 Wimbledon Tourney. Now, that’s dominating !!!!
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1980 – “The Express” Notches #3000
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Many baseball fans and insiders consider Nolan Ryan to be the most prolific “power pitcher” in the history of the game. At just 33 years old, he collected his 3000th strikeout on this day.
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As we all know, he had plenty of GAS left in the tank. Nolan Ryan finished his big league career with 5,714 strikeouts …. along with one hugely famous bloody ass-beating of Robin Ventura.
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1983 – No Fireworks For The Red Sox
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You remember Dave Righetti, right? Well, he enjoyed his most masterful pitching performance when no-hitting the rival Boston Red Sox during a matinee matchup.
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Although, he was only 24 years old, it would be Righetti’s only no-hitter. A season later, he would become the Yankees closer and he enjoyed a solid career in that role.
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1998 – No NASCAR @ Daytona
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For the first time in 35 years, NASCAR did not host a race at Daytona International Speedway during a July 4th weekend. A growing swath of wildfires threatened the entire Daytona community, forcing the race’s postponement to October.
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This was an era when NASCAR was dominated by a certain car and driver. Thus, while the race was delayed nearly four months, Jeff Gordon still showed up and ran away with it.
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2004 – A Total Of 1735 Bombs
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Yesterday’s release of the All Star rosters was a mere formality. Heck, many fans haven’t even noticed, yet. There was no pomp and circumstance revolving around final appearances of Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn, or the anticipation of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in the same lineup. The biggest dilemma was “will Stephen Strasburg be an All Star?” He’s not.

On July 4th, 2004, All Star rosters were announced – and it was a historical moment. For the first time in BASEBALL HISTORY, three players with 500+ homeruns were elected to the same All Star squad – to start in the same outfield.
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When the 2004 All Star rosters were announced, a behemoth amount of career dingers were occupying the N.L.’s outfield …. Barry Bonds – 682, Sammy Sosa – 553, Ken Griffey – 500. As we sit here just six years later, we know these homerun totals were inflated and achieved via less than honest means. That said, electing an outfield of 1735 homers is still pretty amazing.
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2009 – Tragedy in Tennessee
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You remember exactly where you were when your phone buzzed with the WNST text, right? I was standing on a pier, in Canton. From that mid-afternoon moment, we browsed the internet, watched the news channels and made Steve McNair the topic of 4th of July conversations.
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It’s still hard to believe Steve McNair is gone. In the year since his death, many controversial disclosures and allegations have surfaced. Most recently, a select group is purporting a cover-up by law enforcement and prosecutors. I’m not buying it; too many people are privy to the situation. A cover-up amounts to a “secret.” And, we all know there is only one way to ensure a secret stays intact – if you’re the only one knows it.
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2010 – 54 Dogs & 1 Arrest
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Somewhere in Chicago, Glenn Clark is celebrating the feat of his hero, Joey Chestnut. The human hoover inhaled 54 weiners to win yesterday’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Yet, as the Coney Island crowd reveled in Chestnut’s title defense, a bit of reality drama broke out …..
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In a scene resembling a WWE Monday Night Raw skit mixed with Jerry Springer, former Eating Champ, Kobayashi, was arrested after storming the stage during Chestnut’s celebration. Kobayashi did not participate this year, because of a “dog dispute.” The arrest footage was pretty funny …. but, I would’ve loved to see him get tasered !!!!

HAPPY 5TH OF JULY – SEE YA TOMORROW @ 2PM !!!!

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The "Sunday Morning Blitz" Comes To An End .....

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The “Sunday Morning Blitz” Comes To An End …..

Posted on 22 February 2010 by WNST Interns

As much as I’ve loved crafting the SUNDAY MORNING BLITZ, I just knew this day would come, sooner or later. And, to be quite honest, I really thought the circumstances would be a little different.

While I’m an optimistic soul, I pretty much just assumed the appeal of the ‘Blitz would eventually run it’s course, or Jason Jubb and I would find LIFE seeping further into our respective Sundays. I’ve always knew it would end. But, I didn’t think it would happen so soon.

I cannot begin to convey my gratitude to Nestor and Brad Howard for the chance to further my ambitions on the daily afternoon show, with Ray Bachmann. It’s an endeavor I’ve always targeted – while making the weekend trek.

So, I’m relishing the new, vivid role at WNST. Meanwhile, Jason Jubb is selflessly giving his Sunday mornings back to his family. I’m not surprised; he always does the right thing. Jason’s baby boy greeted this world amid the span of our little Sunday morning radio venture. And, while he missed a couple shows, Jason has continued with the ‘Blitz. I know a huge part of his heart felt better, as he woke up with his son, yesterday morning.

I cannot rightfully describe my sincere gratitude to Jason for his dedicated and innovative efforts to WNST’s weekends. I know Nestor and Brad share in these feelings.

To be bluntly honest, Jason is very much responsible for my successes, at WNST. He helped me prepare for the “So You Wanna Be A Sports Talk Show Host” contest ….. he’s lent a wide ranging expertise to the show’s format ….. he’s blogged and attended events ….. he’s gone well beyond the boundaries of friends helping friends.

Heck, he stayed awake and on-air for 24 straight hours, for a very noble cause – and with very little recognition …..
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I’m a better sports mind and person, because of Jason’s friendship. I’m just glad he knows how I feel.

Over these last 3 years, we have covered some of Baltimore’s biggest sports stories, as well as some nationally recognized events. We’ve strived to present good analysis and content – while offering listeners and fellow fans an opportunity to lend a hand.

From the friendly demeanor of “Billy in Columbia” ….. to the perennial dissent of “Wayne in Timonium” ….. to the senseless rambling of “Rick in Reisterstown” ….. to the downplayed real-life experiences of “Rico in Towson” ….. to the reliable doom and gloom forecasts of “Dave in Hamilton” ….. to the personal connection of “Tommy in Pasadena” ….. to the Angelosian love of “Tom in Rising Sun” ….. to the quirky ideas of “Dan in Fallston” ….. to the fiscal suspicions of “Bob in Herfeord” ….. to the discerning wonder of “Lou in Phoenix” ….. to the unconditional love of “Dale in Rosedale” ….. to the thorough, five minute responses of “Justin in Highlandtown” ….. to the blunt realities of our patriarch, “Bob in Parkville” ….. the SUNDAY MORNING BLITZ has been a forum for any and every Baltimore sports fan.

In fact, it’s always been about the fan.

The very first edition of the SUNDAY MORNING BLITZ took place on Sunday, April 15th, 2007. For myself and Jason, as well as the WORLD, alot of things have changed since that day …..
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The Orioles Make A Huge Decision
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Ravens Get A New Boss, Too …..
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Local Kid Dominates the World
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Ravens Find Their Future …..
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Cal Gets His Day
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Ravens Come So Close …..
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Orioles Start To “Rebuild” …..
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While we always strived to make the show about BALTIMORE, the global realities and impact of sports was a weekly factor. Regardless of the coverage we desired to give the Orioles and Ravens, bigger stories sometimes dominated.

Michael Vick went to prison for dogfighting.

Roger Clemens stared down a steroids scandal.

The New England Patriots were nearly perfect.

These stories dominated radio for weeks and months. And, the Sunday Morning Blitz was not immune to such dialogue. However, such stories usually broke on weekdays – which relegated Jason and I to try twisting the topic in an original way, if possible.

Hey, that’s Sunday radio.

However, there were a couple times when the Sunday Morning Blitz served as the first landing spot for Baltimore’s initial sports discussion on a morning after something HUGE happened. Both events happened, in 2009. One was joyful and the other was quite sad …..
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January 10, 2009
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The Ravens went into Nashville and beat the heavily favored Tenessee Titans. The win earned the Ravens a berth in the AFC Championship game. Since the game was played on a Saturday evening, we seized first crack at breaking down the win and chatting with jubilant fans, the next morning. It was a GREAT day.
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July 4, 2009
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I recall standing on a pier, in Canton, on a beautiful 4th of July afternoon. I received the WNST text message. Steve McNair was found dead, in Nashville. As Saturday afternoon turned to night, numerous details emerged. It was a homicide. The following morning, Jason and I had the tough job of helping Ravens fans mourn. It was a surreal experience – no laughter, joking or light hearted fun. But, it was an important couple hours.

Each and every edition of the Sunday Morning Blitz was it’s own “animal.” We had some good shows and GREAT shows. We also had lackluster performances and fumbled the microphone on numerous occasions. Sunday was always an experience …..

From finding a snake outside the studio (BTW – that was a bit) …..

To hosting a “Man’s Baby Shower” …..

To losing every on-air wager I made …..

The last three years have been a fantastic ride and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve forged some special relationships and learned the ropes, so to speak. Along the way, many people had a hand in making the Sunday Morning Blitz a respectable weekend show. Such support came from many …..
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Katie Browne
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Josh Hall
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Chris Bonetti
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Jason Siemer
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So many people gave time and energy to making the Sunday Morning Blitz a success. To everyone – THANK YOU. I have no doubt that Jason and I will reconvene someday for a new show. Who knows when that day will happen? In the meantime, we’ll get together, on occasion, during the “Rex & Ray Show.”

Yesterday, I woke up for the first time, in three years, without any Sunday commitments. It was an odd feeling and I found myself looking for something to do. So, I sat in front of the computer and wrote this blog.

Maybe, I’ll just start a regular Sunday morning column, on WNST.net – or I’ll just learn to relax …..

To be honest, I’m gonna follow Jason’s lead and just give Sunday’s back to my family. Over the last three years, my wife and daughter have sacrificed a lot of weekend opportunities. They have given up so much, in an effort to let me pursue these radio ambitions.

While I’ve credited Jason with helping me craft my on-air talents, my wife has obliged every single move and decision I’ve made. So, while I’ll miss the Sunday Morning Blitz, I’m glad to give her weekends back and just in time for spring and summer.

In fact, I really do think our families deserve most of the recognition for their understanding and unconditional support …..
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In truth, Paula, Amy, Cheyenne and Ryan have given more than anyone – simply so a couple of good friends could share their love for Baltimore’s sports, on Sunday mornings. We’re both lucky guys, indeed.

I have a feeling Jason and I will do a show, again, someday. Until then, thanks for listening …..

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The Decade's Best

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The Decade’s Best

Posted on 01 January 2010 by WNST Interns

The day was January 1, 2000. The Baltimore Ravens were wrapping up the first non-losing season in franchise history and entered Week 17 with a glimmer of hope that they would make the postseason for the first time. For perhaps the first time (other than those first few games when just having a team was worth celebrating), Baltimore was truly embracing the Ravens. Still, Baltimore was predominantly a baseball town back then. Cal Ripken still manned the hot corner for the Orioles, a team which was stacked with big-name talent and had fans hoping that the brief, two-year absence from the playoffs was about to end.

Meanwhile, college fans wondered if Gary Williams’ Terps would ever break through the almighty Sweet 16 barrier, while Ron Vanderlinden’s Terps had recently completed yet another bowl-less season.

The decade came to an end yesterday, and while none of the area teams has transformed into a superpower, the past ten years have certainly been memorable for area sports fans. There were ACC championships in football and basketball for the Terps, accomplishments unseen in the decade previous. Fans who dared not even entertain the thought of a national title for Maryland hoops woke up on April 1, 2002 supremely confident that their team was about to be crowned the best in the land – and thanks to a tenacious and unstoppable guard from Baltimore, they were.

The losing did not stop for the Orioles, not with Albert Belle, Miguel Tejada or Javy Lopez. Not with Chris Richard, Matt Riley or Jay Gibbons. Ripken retired and followed Eddie Murray into Cooperstown, bringing with him the thousands who used to pack Oriole Park. And when the Ravens’ record-setting defense led the Colts’ successors to the Super Bowl XXXV title, Baltimore’s status as a football town was returned and unchallenged for the remainder of the decade.

Today’s blog takes a look back at three of the most memorable moments of the decade for the Ravens, Orioles and Terps. Because the choice to include the Terps’ 64-52 title victory over Indiana or the Ravens’ 34-7 romp over the Giants would be too easy, I am limiting this to games that did not win a championship (including ACC titles). So without further ado, the Games of the Decade.

OUT NUMBER ONE – ORIOLES

Fittingly, the Orioles’ inclusion on this list was not a great individual achievment or jaw-dropping victory (though those happened over the past 10 years, believe it or not). Instead, the most recent game on our list is a look towards the future for a team desperately hoping that the next ten years outshines the last.

May 29, 2009: Orioles 7, Tigers 2.

The Birds didn’t help poor Dontrelle Willis’ anxiety issues as they battered the former Marlins’ phenom for an easy early-summer victory over a team that, at the time, looked destined for the American League Central crown. The win came in the midst of one of the hottest streaks of the year for the Orioles, but it wasn’t the win itself that puts this game on the list. It was the official arrival of Matt Wieters, the top-rated prospect in all of baseball and the player viewed by many Orioles fans as the savior of the franchise.

Wieters did not smash a window in the warehouse on his first at-bat. He didn’t even get a hit that night, or run away with the American League Rookie of the Year Award. But as the season progressed, it became more and more evident that this was not a young man who was going to wilt under the pressure. Catching a roster full of young pitching talent, he balanced his defensive duties with offensive progression and displayed a maturity that left Orioles fans cautiously optimistic for the next decade. Paired with the likes of Brad Bergesen and Nolan Reimold – who also starred that night – as well as Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman, Wieters ushered in new hope for the Orioles during the final season of an otherwise all-too forgettable decade.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj7N-xn14R4[/youtube]

Runners Up: July 1, 2009: Orioles 11, Red Sox 10 in franchise’s biggest comeback. October 6, 2001: Red Sox 5, Orioles 1 in Cal Ripken’s finale. July 10, 2001: American League 4, National League 1 in Cal Ripken’s final All-Star Game. May 20, 2008: Orioles 12, Yankees 2 as Mussina fails to complete an inning. April 4, 2004: Orioles 7, Red Sox 2 as the Birds open the season with a win on national TV. May 27, 2009: Orioles 12, Blue Jays 10 as Nolan Reimold delivers a walk-off.

OUT NUMBER TWO – RAVENS

November 12, 2001: Ravens 16, Titans 10.

Before the Ravens and Steelers teamed up to create the best rivalry in today’s NFL, the Titans were the team Baltimore fans loved to hate. In another classic installment of that rivalry (the last before the realignment that left the teams in different divisions), the Ravens traveled to Tennessee for the first Monday Night Football game in team history. Remarkably, the event came in Week 9, not the traditional Week 1 showcase afforded the defending champions. Still, as Brian Billick was quick to point out afterwards, it was well worth the wait.

Although it had been the previous year’s version of the defense which set records, the 2001 Ravens were no slouch. So with the team leading 16-10 in the final seconds, the champs stepped up to provide one of the craziest and most thrilling Monday Night Football finishes in the 40-year history of the production.

After Jamie Sharper and Duane Starks stopped Kevin Dyson on the one yard line (did the poor guy ever actually SCORE a touchdown?), the Titans had to rush to the line and try to push their way across the plane with no time outs and the final seconds ticking off the clock. The late great Steve McNair took the handoff, pushed behind his center, and seemed to give his team the touchdown it needed as the clock hit triple zeroes. But even when it messed up, the Ravens defense in those days could do no wrong. Peter Boulware had tried to rush back onside for the final play, and in the process grabbed McNair’s head as he leapt back across the line. The contact resulted in encroachment, a dead ball which nullified the previous play and set up an untimed play from the half yard line.

The final play was the signature of the Baltimore Ravens defense of the first decade of the millennium. Unable and unwilling to give up even an inch, Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams forced their way through the Tennessee offensive line, and as Steve McNair tried to escape around the corner, it was Ray Lewis who put the final hit on the gritty Air McNair. The win was preserved, the defense’s reputation was intact, and the Ravens had made their presence felt in their first foray onto Monday Night Football.

I’m guessing that Brian Billick is still waiting for that check from ABC.

Honorable mention: November 23, 2003: Ravens 44, Seahawks 41 (OT) in the greatest comeback in team history. December 20, 2008: Ravens 33, Cowboys 24 as Baltimore closes Texas Stadium by keeping its playoff hopes alive. December 31, 2000: Ravens 21, Broncos 3 in Baltimore in the first playoff game since football returned to Baltimore. January 29, 2009: Ravens 13, Titans 10 as the Ravens set up an AFC Championship game showdown with the Steelers. November 26, 2006: Ravens 27, Steelers 0 in a game that will forever be known for Bart Scott’s bonecrushing hit on Ben Roethlisberger.

OUT NUMBER THREE – TERPS

March 24, 2002: Maryland 90, Connecticut 82

A little more than a week later, it would be all but a guarantee in many Terps fans’ minds that their team was finally going to win its first national championship. They were facing a fifth-seeded Indiana team that was no match for Juan Dixon and company. But more importantly, the Terps had already proven that they could withstand any test, something they did when they knocked out UConn at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse in the Elite Eight.

It was a slugfest, two teams which had played each other earlier in the season at the BB&T Classic (Maryland won that matchup 77-65). Although a battle with fellow-No. 1 seed Kansas awaited in the Final Four, it was the only time all tournament that the confidence of Maryland fans may have been shaken.

Fortunately, no one was shaking the confidence of Steve Blake and Juan Dixon. With the Terps down by three late in the fourth quarter, Dixon calmly received a pass deep beyond the three-point line at the top of the key and smoothly sunk the shot, tying the game. Maryland clawed its way to a three-point lead in the final minute, and with the shot clock winding down and less than 30 seconds on the clock, Steve Blake took his only shot of the game, a three-pointer that served as a dagger to the hearts of the Huskies. The bucket gave Maryland an 86-80 lead, and all but assured the Terps of their second consecutive Final Four appearance. This time, there was no stopping the Terps as they won Gary Williams his first national championship.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbe2uNaQ3o4[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq0Ez87a9eY[/youtube]

Honorable mention: February 17, 2002: Maryland 87, Duke 73 in a game that can be summed up in three words: OH HE STEAL! (and the only Honorable mention game that earns a YouTube post: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4YxXRRLbQc&feature=related[/youtube]

March 13, 2004: Maryland 85, NC State 82 as the Terps overcome a 19-point halftime deficit to propel themselves back to the ACC Championship game. February 25, 2007: Maryland 89, North Carolina 87 in yet another victory over #1 for Gary Williams and the Terps. February 9, 2000: Maryland 98, Duke 87 as the Terps invade Cameron–err…Dixon–Indoor Stadium and come out with a win, the first visiting team to do so in a season and a half. February 21, 2009: Maryland 88, North Carolina 85 (OT) as Greivis Vasquez puts together a triple-double in an upset that propelled the Terps back to the NCAA Tournament. October 11, 2001: Maryland 20, Georgia Tech 17 as Ralph Friedgen and the Terps officially announce their return to relevance. December 31, 2002: Maryland 30, Tennessee 3 as the Year of the Terp was capped by a dominant Peach Bowl victory. October 30, 2004: Maryland 20, Florida State 17 as the Terps finally beat the Noles in an otherwise forgettable campaign.

Happy New Year everyone. Here’s hoping for many more great memories for the Ravens, Terps AND Orioles in the next decade.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

….to no one in particular! So here’s a look back at the video that served as the official pump-up song for every championship team of 2000-01. Unfortunately, video of Art Modell dancing to this at the parade doesn’t appear to be on YouTube.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He82NBjJqf8[/youtube]

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