Tag Archive | "thanksgiving"

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Jacoby Jones was thinking: “Is Tomlin going to move?”

Posted on 29 November 2013 by WNSTV

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Not So Happy Thanksgiving as North East OTB is Closing

Posted on 27 November 2013 by Gary Quill

Not long after the 2013 Breeders’ Cup dust had settled at Santa Anita, over 2,700 miles away in North East, MD a bomb was dropped on the folks at North East Racing & Sports Club (NERSC), originally known as Poor Jimmy’s on Rt. 40 but more commonly referred to as an Off-Tracking Betting facility (OTB).

On Wednesday morning (Nov. 6th) the Human Resources “suits” from the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) descended on Maryland’s only remaining OTB site. The visit was not to discuss strategy for the coming year, but to inform on-site General Manager Deborah Pro-Marshall that MJC would cease operations at NERSC effective close of business November 30, 2013.

Why? In a letter to NERSC employees, Tom Chuckas, MJC President and COO explained, “Declining wagering revenues and increased operating costs have created an unfortunate situation where NERSC can no longer be sustained financially.

That one sentence not only speaks the truth but could be written concerning every OTB across North America, if not worldwide. Blame technology. Better yet, blame Al Gore! After all HE DID invent the internet, didn’t he?! Wagering via many of the horse racing websites from the comfort of your own home or office has replaced having to drive to the local track or OTB.

NERSC interior

The first OTB (outside of Nevada) surfaced in New York City in 1970. In Maryland the first of six opened in 1995. In 2000, Poor Jimmy’s closed for renovations and reopened as NERSC . What was once thought of as a savior to make wagering on horse races more readily available to those residing too far from a race track, is now a dinosaur. Much like 8-track tapes, Polariod cameras, and VHS tapes, the greatest thing since sliced bread for horseplayers is now toast!

Even though closing an OTB facility makes good business sense, it’s a bitter pill to swallow for the dedicated NERSC employees and their loyal customers. The latter fits two (2) demographics… the first are retired gents who prefer wagering while socializing with friends instead of golfing, playing cards or “shooting the breeze” at the local watering hole or fast food establishment. The second are horseplayers who don’t know their way around a computer keyboard, so they rely on making their short-term investments via Pari-Mutuel Clerk window.

In both cases, they are all characters who jokingly harass one another about a bad selection (“I wouldn’t bet that horse with your money”) but conversely will cheer and give “props” when a fellow capper picks a winner at long odds.

A quartet of Steve, “Navy”, Eddie and “Snap” are regulars who occupy the first row facing one of the banks of TV screens. One patron referred to NERSC as his “Man Cave”.

With all the bad TV shows on these days, including a plethora of the “reality” type, network executives should have visited NERSC. On any given day or night just roll the cameras.

Start with grand entrances. Every day or night everyone knew when George, a flamboyant gentleman who has an affinity for jewelry arrived, as they’d hear his loud yet simple, personal greeting of “Hey ____, how’s it going?” to the first NERSC staff member he’d see.

There’s Bobby, a retiree famous for the line “I haven’t hit a race all week”, was so notorious for playing 7-10 Exactas, that whenever and wherever that combo would come in, someone always shouted, “Where’s Bobby?! You have that?!

There are dozens more who will forever live in my memory, but the most loyal of all NERSC customers has to have been Matt. A dead-ringer for Zach Galifianakis’ Hangover character, Matt would certainly be the star of this reality show. Thoroughbred or harness, North or South American races, Matt did them all in rapid fire succession. Without a doubt the most boisterous of all NERSC cliental, his voice could be heard throughout the entire facility, often changing who he’d root for in mid-stretch and the post-race commentary was often priceless. For example, “5-1-2?! That’s my brother’s birthday…” to suggest if we’d play the birthdays of all our close friends and relatives, we’d be filthy rich.

NERSC is a Comedy Club without the cover or drink minimum. As one Pari-Mutuel clerk stated with a smile while shaking his head, “You just cannot make this stuff up.

NERSC Closing sign

Sadly, after all OTB’s disappear, many of the race tracks will follow. Attendance and on-track handle continues to decrease while online wagering increases.

BOLD PREDICTION: By 2024, I envision many tracks as antiseptic venues without on-track wagering. No horseplayers, no vendors. Just horses, jockeys, trainers, starting gate personnel, race caller and track photographer… that’s it! All race wagering and watching will be performed online. The only race days to welcome fan on-track attendance will be Breeders’ Cup and the Triple Crown race venues.

It certainly appears to be the track (pun intend) that the horse racing industry is on heading into the future. What do you think?

For the employees at North East and their loyal customers, this Thanksgiving the turkey probably won’t taste as good and the pumpkin pie may seem bitter, but if they are able to share it with family and friends, it will help ease the pain of losing more than just a job or place to socialize and wager on the ponies. Everyone is losing a place “where everybody knows your name.”

Click here on race day morning to see my selections for Laurel Park’s Thanksgiving Day card.

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San Francisco 49ers v Baltimore Ravens

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Flacco says all Harbaugh hype aside, win over 49ers was huge

Posted on 25 November 2011 by WNSTV

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John Harbaugh, Jim Harbaugh

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John Harbaugh reflects about emotional win over brother Jim & The Handshake

Posted on 25 November 2011 by WNSTV

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My Mom wants to know if Ray Lewis is playing tonight?

Posted on 24 November 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

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Nestor talks turkey with turkeys at Ravens game

Posted on 22 November 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

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Here are the Details on our “Coats & Cans in Memory of Fergy” Charity Drive

Posted on 31 October 2011 by WNST Staff

From Monday, October 31 through Friday, November 18, WNST.net will collect canned goods and non-perishable food items at the AM1570 WNST studios (1550 Hart Rd. Towson, MD 21286).  Those items will be collected during normal business hours (6am-6pm).

We will also collect at all scheduled WNST events, including “Monday Night Live” with Baltimore Ravens LB Brendon Ayanbadejo at Hightopps in Timonium, our Miller Lite Towson pep rallies at the Greene Turtle and other events specific to the drive that we will announce in the future.

We will give those items to the Canton Baptist Church for their distribution to Baltimore’s homeless and we’ll also give some of the donated food to the Bea Gaddy Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Last year we donated 2,400 cans to the Canton Baptist Church.  This year we’d like to do 5,000 cans. For counting purposes, we count EVERYTHING, meaning if someone drops off oatmeal or some other “non-can” item, we count that as a can.

In addition, we’re going to ask that members of the WNST commuinty who can’t contribute food (or even if they can) to donate a penny per-can to a scholarship fund that has been set up for Fergy (in White Marsh)’s children.

Listeners/readers can make their checks out to:

The Cameron and Adrianna Commodari Scholarship Fund and send them to Drew Forrester’s attention at the radio station. We will announce the amount of cans raised on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We ask that WNST community members donate UP TO 5,000 cans-so donations will not exceed $50 no matter how many cans are collected.Fergy’s brother Marshall will come to the studio sometime in December and do a few minutes on the air and we’ll present him with the money. We obviously won’t collect any of the money until after the canned food drive is over on November 18 and we see how many cans we did.

If you don’t have the important information on Fergy (Fernando Commodari), you should know that he was a longtime listener of the station and an active supporter and contributor to any and all of our charitable endeavors.  He brought 100 cans of food to the Fullerton Pub last December when Drew & Glenn Clark did the first canned food drive.  Anytime we did some sort of fund-raiser, he always contributed. He was killed in a car accident this past July.

Once the canned food drive is over, we’ll start with the coats and winter apparel drive.  We’ll take coats, sweaters, sweatshirts, hats, gloves, etc.  All of those items will be donated to Helping Up Mission downtown.  The coat/apparel drive will run from Monday, November 21 through Friday, December 16.  We will drop off those items on Tuesday, December 20 at the Helping Up Mission downtown.

Please help us make the most out of these three worthwhile charity drives. As you know, we pride ourselves at WNST for being a community of contributors, sponsors, listeners, readers, Twitter followers, Facebook friends, etc. The one thing we have in common is that we all care DEEPLY about this area. We’re grateful for the opportunity to try to do further good.

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Loyola Hoops Announces 2011-2012 Schedule

Posted on 16 September 2011 by WNST Staff

Men’s Basketball Announces 2011-2012 Schedule

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball will open its 2011-2012 season at Wake Forest and then play at 2011 Final Four participant Kentucky later in the season, Head Coach Jimmy Patsos announced today.

The Greyhounds will take on the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Demon Deacons in Lawrence Joel Coliseum on Friday, November 11, in their first game of the season. The schedule is subject to change, and game time and Loyola television information will be released on LoyolaGreyhounds.com in the next several days.

Just before Christmas, Loyola will play college basketball’s all-time wins leader, Kentucky, in Rupp Arena, on Thursday, December 22. The games against Wake Forest and Kentucky are two of the 10 non-conference games the Greyhounds will play before delving into the heart of their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference slate.

“We have put together a very competitive schedule,” Patsos said. “This is a tough schedule with games that will test us early in our non-conference schedule. We know that playing teams in marquee conferences helps us in recruiting, and it also prepares us for the league.”

Loyola’s first intercollegiate contest will be Thursday, November 3, when it hosts Indiana (Pa.) in an exhibition game at Reitz Arena. Following the Wake Forest tilt, Loyola returns home for its regular-season home opener on Monday, November 14, against Coppin State.

A two-game road trip awaits the Greyhounds from that point. They travel across Baltimore to face UMBC on Thursday, November 17. Loyola will then take a pre-Thanksgiving trip to New England where it will face New Hampshire on Sunday, November 20.

Florida Gulf Coast comes to Reitz Arena on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, November 27, for Loyola’s final game of the season’s first month.

MAAC action opens a few days later as Loyola hosts Marist on Thursday, December 1. The Greyhounds head to Central New York on Saturday, December 3, to face Siena.

A game in the Nation’s Capital against George Washington on Wednesday, December 7, brings the Greyhounds back into non-conference play. After that contest, they will play at Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday, December 10, before taking an 11-day break for final exams.

The Kentucky game will be the penultimate of 2011, as Loyola closes the year on the road at Bucknell on Wednesday, December 28.

League play dominates the next eight weeks, starting with a three-game homestand against a trio of MAAC opponents. Niagara is first up on that agenda on Monday, January 2, followed by a Thursday, January 5 game versus Manhattan. The Greyhounds close the homestand with a Saturday, January 7 match-up against Canisius.

The Greyhounds’ first roadtrip of 2012 may prove to be one of its most difficult, as they leave Baltimore to face teams that finished first and tied for second in last year’s MAAC standings. Fairfield will host Coach Patsos and his side on Friday, January 13, and Iona greets Loyola on Sunday, January 15.

Loyola returns to Reitz Arena for a pair of games, Thursday, January 19 against Siena, and Sunday, January 22 versus defending MAAC Champion Saint Peter’s, before heading back on the road for two more.

The Greyhounds will make their annual two-game swing to Western New York for games on Friday, January 27 at Niagara and Sunday, January 29 at Canisius.

Loyola returns to Reitz Arena on Friday, February 3, to host Rider before going to Jersey City to play at Saint Peter’s on Super Bowl Sunday, February 5.

The Greyhounds then welcome Iona and Fairfield on Friday, February 10, and Sunday, February 12, respectively, and head to Marist on Wednesday, February 15.

The final home game of the season will take place on either Friday or Saturday, February 17 or 18, when Loyola hosts a BracketBuster game at Reitz Arena. In the past, the Greyhounds have faced the likes of Towson,Drexel, New Hampshire, UC-Davis and Tennessee State in those contests.

Loyola closes the regular-season with three consecutive road games. It visits Marist on Wednesday, February 15, followed by a trip to Rider on Friday, February 24, and Manhattan on Friday, February 26.

The league will host the 2012 MAAC Championships in a new location this year, playing the tournament at the Basketball Hall of Fame and the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. Maac-achusetts begins on Thursday, March 1, and the conference champion will be crowned on Monday, March 5.


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Trip to UMBC Highlights Maryland Women’s Basketball Schedule

Posted on 14 September 2011 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Home-and-home match ups with Duke, North Carolina, Miami, Georgia Tech and Virginia highlight the 2011-12 Maryland women’s basketball schedule, released Tuesday. All five of the aforementioned teams were selected to compete in the postseason in 2011.

The Terrapins will play at least 17 games against opponents that competed in either the NCAA or WNIT postseason tournaments in 2011. Ten of those games will be played in College Park.

Eight of the Terps’ games will be televised, including three on the ESPN family of networks. The other five will be shown on RSN, which consists of several regional cable syndicated networks throughout the ACC footprint, including Comcast SportsNet, Fox Sports Net South, and New England Sports Network, reaches approximately 24 million households.

Highlighting the early non-conference schedule will be a matchup with Georgetown, who ended the 2010-11 season ranked 14th, on Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. at Comcast Center.

Six local opponents are on the Terps’ non-conference slate. Maryland will welcome Loyola, Georgetown and Towson to Comcast Center, and will travel to UMBC, American and George Mason.

In the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Maryland will play host to 2011 postseason team Michigan for a 7 p.m. game on Nov. 30. This will mark the first meeting between the two teams and both are undefeated in the first four years of the Challenge.

The Terps, who went 24-8 and finished fourth in the ACC last year, will play their first five league games against 2011 postseason participants, including three on the road. They will play single-games at home vs. Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Boston College, and single road games at Clemson, Florida State and North Carolina State.

The Terrapins open league play at Florida State on Jan. 2 with a 7 p.m. game, then return home for an 8:30 p.m. televised game vs. Georgia Tech on Jan. 6. Two days later, the Terrapins hit the road against to play at North Carolina at 1 p.m. Continuing its road trip, Maryland will take on Miami, who finished second in the league last year, in Coral Gables on Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.

Maryland’s last three home games include a Feb. 12 matchup with Miami, which will be shown live on ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m. A week later, the Terrapins will play host to Duke for a 3 p.m. game on Feb. 19, which will also be shown on ESPN2. The Terps close out their home slate with a Feb. 24 game vs. North Carolina at 8:30 p.m. shown on RSN.

The 2011 ACC Tournament will be held March 1-4 at the Greensboro Coliseum. The ACC Semifinals will be shown on ESPNU and the ACC Championship game will be shown on ESPN2.

Maryland will play host to the 2012 NCAA First and Second Rounds March 17 and 19 at Comcast Center.

The Terps will make their first appearance of the season at Maryland Madness on Oct. 14 at Comcast Center. They will play host to Messiah College for an exhibition on Nov. 1 and Holy Family for an exhibition on Nov. 6. Both exhibition games will be at 7 p.m.

2011-12 Maryland Women’s Basketball Schedule

Day Date  Opponent    Location  Time

Tues. Nov. 1  Messiah College (Exhib.)   COLLEGE PARK, Md. 7 p.m.

Sun. Nov. 6  Holy Family (Exhib.)   COLLEGE PARK, Md. 7 p.m.

Fri. Nov. 11  LOYOLA (Md.)    COLLEGE PARK, Md. 7 p.m.

Sun. Nov. 13  GEORGETOWN    COLLEGE PARK, Md. 2 p.m.

Wed. Nov. 16  TOWSON    COLLEGE PARK, Md. 7 p.m.

Sat. Nov. 19  UMBC     Baltimore, Md.  7 p.m.

Tues. Nov. 22  SAINT JOSEPH’S    COLLEGE PARK, Md. 7 p.m.

Florida International Thanksgiving Classic

Fri. Nov. 25   at Florida International   Miami, Fla.  6 p.m.

Sat. Nov. 26  Cal State Bakersfield   Miami, Fla.  2 p.m.

Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Wed. Nov. 30  MICHIGAN    COLLEGE PARK, Md. 7 p.m.

Sun. Dec. 4  at American    Washington, D.C.  1 p.m.

Thurs. Dec. 8  DELAWARE STATE   COLLEGE PARK, Md. 7 p.m.

Sun. Dec. 11  at George Mason    Fairfax, Va.  2 p.m.

Terrapin Classic

Wed. Dec. 28  LAFAYETTE    COLLEGE PARK, Md. Noon

Thurs. Dec. 29  DELAWARE/ECU    COLLEGE PARK, Md. 7 p.m.

Mon. Jan. 2  at Florida State*    Tallahassee, Fla.   7 p.m.

Fri. Jan. 6  GEORGIA TECH* (RSN)   COLLEGE PARK, Md.       8:30 p.m.

Sun. Jan. 8  at North Carolina* (RSN)   Chapel Hill, N.C.  1 p.m.

Thurs. Jan. 12  at Miami*     Coral Gables, Fla.  7 p.m.

Mon. Jan. 16  VIRGINIA* (RSN)    COLLEGE PARK, Md.       8:30 p.m.

Thurs. Jan. 19  WAKE FOREST*    COLLEGE PARK, Md. 7 p.m.

Sun. Jan. 22  at Duke* (ESPNU)    Durham, N.C.  3:30 p.m.

Thurs. Jan. 26  VIRGINIA TECH*    COLLEGE PARK, Md. 7 p.m.

Thurs. Feb. 2  BOSTON COLLEGE*    COLLEGE PARK, Md. 7 p.m.

Mon. Feb. 6  at Georgia Tech* (RSN)   Atlanta, Ga.  7 p.m.

Thurs.  Feb. 9  at Clemson*    Clemson, S.C.  7 p.m.

Sun.  Feb. 12  MIAMI* (ESPN2)    COLLEGE PARK, Md.       2:30 p.m.

Thurs. Feb. 16  at Virginia*     Charlottesville, Va.  7 p.m.

Sun. Feb. 19  DUKE* (ESPN2)    COLLEGE PARK, Md. 3 p.m.

Fri. Feb. 24  NORTH CAROLINA* (RSN)   COLLEGE PARK, Md.      8:30 p.m.

Sun. Feb. 26  at North Carolina State*   Raleigh, N.C.  2 p.m.

*-denotes ACC game | Home games in BOLD CAPS

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When Thanksgiving and Horse Racing Meet

Posted on 23 November 2010 by Gary Quill

As a kid growing up in northeast Baltimore, Thanksgiving Day was much like any other household in the United States. Wake up by 9:00am to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, go outside for a quick pickup football game in Herring Run Park with whoever may show-up, return home in time to watch the early NFL game from Detroit and then…


Well, as I grew older it became apparent to me that my family’s Thanksgiving Day tradition took a small detour from the majority of Americans. That most families dinner commenced around 3pm, give or take an hour. Not so according to the Quill family Thanksgiving tradition. We could watch the Dallas football game until about halftime which was about the time my Pop-Pop Quill and great-uncle Ray would arrive at our house from a day at the track. Priceless!


That was back in the 60’s and early 70’s. I miss those days… and my Pop-Pop and Uncle Ray, who have long passed. And with their passing, so did the Quill family Thanksgiving Day tradition. My Dad and I are still able to enjoy a day at the races from time to time, but never on Thanksgiving Day. The Quill family is now scattered throughout our great country and over the past 20 years I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve been together on Thanksgiving Day. Be thankful if you can spend this Thanksgiving Day with your entire family and think about what tradition is special to you on the last Thursday in November.     


Laurel Park has its own Thanksgiving Day tradition which they started 23 years ago, in giving away either a pumpkin or apple pie (after the 5th race). First race post for the nie-race card is 11:05 a.m. Pies will able available at both Laurel Park and Pimlico. For those who wish to arrive early to handicap the card, free donuts with coffee or cider will also be available from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. And if you get a call from home telling you they burnt the turkey, invite them to meet you at Laurel’s terrace dining room for a traditional, home-style Thanksgiving buffet for $23.


Friday will be “Guys Day Out” with free admission to Laurel Park’s nine-race program for all men, half-priced draft beers and giveaways, including chances to win tickets to Baltimore Ravens, Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals games and a $200 gift card to Bass Pro.


The holiday week continues Saturday afternoon with a nine-race card and more drawings. Prizes include a 60” HD LCD television, a $200 gift card to Best Buy, a $100 gift card to Lowes and a pair of $100 gift cards to Corridor Fine Wine. First post for Friday and Saturday will be 12:35 p.m. It’s a great time to enjoy Maryland thoroughbred horse racing.


If you are fortune enough to have Wednesday afternoon free in preparation of Thanksgiving, then you might be interested in taking in Laurel’s card. It features MD-bred gelding Ben’s Cat, who will attempt to remain undefeated as he goes for number 8 in the 8th race. If you need some help with your selections, you can always get my opinions at GQ’s No Chalk Zone.


Best of Luck and hope you have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

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