Archive for November, 2010

Deion Sanders: Ed Reed is Best DB in NFL

November 30, 2010

T.O. interviewed former Raven and shoo-in NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders on “The T.Ocho Show” this week.  When asked by T.O. who the best defensive back in the NFL today is, Sanders was definitive and concise in his assessment: Ed. Reed.

Also, “I like Troy Polamalu, but he isn’t a[n] Ed Reed.”

Amen, Prime Time. Amen.

In this second clip, Sanders tells why he doesn’t think there will be an NFL lockout next year:

You can see the full episode tonight at 11:00 PM ET on VERSUS.


Ravens 17 Buccaneers 10 (The TODD HEAP JUST OUTRAN PEOPLE!? Game)

November 30, 2010

If I told you that Todd Heap caught a 65-yard touchdown pass, what would you immediately imagine?

Most likely a 2003 vintage Brian Billick “jump ball” type play where Heap simply out leaps about four defenders in the end zone and comes down with the score, right?

Certainly, you wouldn’t picture Heap catching a 25-yard pass and then turning on his “jets” and outrunning an entire secondary for the next 40 yards to paydirt.  Well, that’s exactly what happened in the second quarter on Sunday.  The Bucs forgot to cover Heap, Joe Flacco’s eyes lit up, and he hit “The Stormin’ Mormon” at about the Bucs’ 40 yard line.  From there, instead of what we’re used to seeing from (goes down in a ) HEEEEEEEEEEEAP, Todd made a beeline for the goalline and the longest play of his career put the Ravens up for good.

It was 10-3 at that point, and the Ravens would never look back.  Joe Flacco would find Derrick Mason from 10 yards out on the very next possession, and the 17-3 halftime lead was all B’More would need on this day.

Mason’s touchdown came at the end of half during which he was targeted a ridiculous 14 times by Flacco.  The obvious reaction to this from fans and media alike is that Mason’s tantrum during the fourth quarter of last week’s Carolina game (when he reportedly grabbed Joe’s facemask before teammates separated the two) paid immediate dividends.  John Harbaugh and the Ravens’ official stance was, and will be, simply that the Bucs’ were doubling Anquan Boldin, leaving Mason singled up on his side of the field.

On the surface, this explanation makes some sense.  The FOX broadcast team repeatedly pointed out how Bucs’ CB Aqib Talib was giving Mason a very large cushion, one that the cagey veteran was all too happy to exploit on comeback route after sideline route after hook route in front of Talib, who is extremely talented, but only in his third professional season.

The extent of Talib’s talent was on full display earlier in the second quarter. He jumped in front of T.J. Houshmandzadeh, had Joe Flacco’s pass bounce off his chest initially, then proceeded to cradle the ball between his calves while falling to the ground before pulling it to his chest for the interception and returning it to the Ravens’ 36-yard line.  It was Flacco’s first interception at M&T Bank Stadium since the heartbreaking pick he threw at the end of the Indianapolis game in Week 11 of 2009.

That’s right, it had been over a full calendar year since Joe Flacco threw an interception at home.  Keep hating, haters.

Anyway, back to Mason.  While the company line seems to check out on the surface, one has to wonder if Mason’s demanding of the ball directly impacted the team’s – and more importantly Joe’s – plans going into the game.

The fact is, Cam Cameron is still trying to figure out how to get the ball in the hands of all of the Ravens’ offensive weapons.  Mason wants the rock.  Housh wants the rock.  We saw what a finally healthy Todd Heap can still provide.  And we’ve yet to even mention the team’s big offseason signing, Anquan Boldin.  Boldin was the forgotten man in the first half, but then the very first play of the second was a quick pass to him – so you wonder if #81 may have had some words for his quarterback and/or offensive coordinator during the intermission.

The most frustrating thing for we fans is that, despite all of those aforementioned weapons, the offense continues to bog down time after time.  They only managed two offensive touchdowns in Carolina, and matched that number yesterday.  In fact, the Ravens managed points in only the second quarter Sunday, going scoreless in the first, third, and final periods.  Let’s not take anything away from Tampa’s defense, who were coming off a shutout on the road in San Francisco, but many had hoped that this would be the “epiphany” game that Ravens fans have been waiting for – and had really hoped to see materialize prior to the Pittsburgh contest.

Well, it obviously wasn’t.

In the first quarter, the Ravens squandered some great field position, going scoreless despite starting their second drive on the Tampa 47-yard line.  After starting on the Bucs’ 41, they managed only a 45-yard Billy Cundiff field goal.  On Mason’s touchdown – the team’s second and final of the day – the team would have again been forced to settle for a field goal were it not for an extremely questionable pass interference call that set them up with 1st-and-goal from the 10.

In the second half, they had a 76-yard touchdown on a screen pass to Ray Rice nullified by an illegal block penalty (also highly questionable) on Boldin.  Other than that, they never – NOT ONCE IN THE ENTIRE SECOND HALF – moved the ball even as far as Tampa territory until their final possession, when they were simply trying to run out the clock.  There was absolutely no sense of urgency, and certainly no indications that they were trying to put the game away with another score or two.  The final seven-point margin of victory was the result.

And so, this is the point where we put on our purple glasses, cross our fingers, and hope that the Ravens’ offense is simply “playing possum” going into the critical match up with the Steelers, at which point Cam will UNLEASH THE FURY!



Anyway, let’s talk defense for a minute.  As worried as we were about LeGarrette Blount running roughshod over the Ravens, they held him largely in check.  The big rookie managed only 55 yards on 13 carries, with a long of 16.  And as nervous as big Josh Freeman had us, the Ravens did a great job of rattling the second-year quarterback, flushing him out of the pocket and making him throw on the run all night long.  Fortunately, he was off the mark far more often than not.  Although they were unable to register a sack, the constant pressure was very encouraging.  This week, they face old nemesis Ben Roethlisberger, who isn’t as fleet-of-foot as Freeman, but who is much more accurate throwing on the move.  They’ll have to do a better job of getting him on the ground than they did with the Bucs’ QB.

On the whole though, it was a strong showing from the defense.  Despite another poor tackling effort (something it appears we’re just going to have to live – and cringe – along with in 2010), the Ravens, for all intents and purposes, held the Bucs to just three points until “junk time.”  Even those three points were set up by the Talib interception, which gave them a short field to work with.

Unfortunately, the win did not come at no cost to the team.  Starters Le’Ron McClain, Dawan Landry, and Michael Oher all left the game with injuries.  Landry sustained a concussion on a vicious hit on Tampa running back Cadillac Williams.  As long as he can pass his concussion tests later in the week, he’ll be good to go Sunday.  Though it looked to be much worse initially, Oher’s injury is being reported – to this point – as simply a sprained knee.  McClain’s injury may be the most serious.  “Pain Train” was blocking on the kick return after the Tampa field goal in the second quarter, when his ankle was rolled up on.  On the play, David Reed brought the ball out from 6 yards deep in the end zone; if he just does as he is most likely taught there – down it for a touchback – McClain’s injury never happens.  Annoying, but that’s the game, and the injury did occur.  With any luck, it’s a run-of-the-mill ankle sprain, and Le’Ron will be back very soon.  With no luck, we’ll be referring to #33 as not “Pain Train” but as Le’Ron “High Ankle Sprain” McClain for who knows how many more weeks.

Let’s hope for a speedy recovery for all three, as a loss of key players couldn’t come at a worse time.

Once again, a Ravens win came with very few style points.  The substance though, of 8-3, cannot be understated.  If they manage another win next Sunday exactly like this one, I’ll be absolutely ecstatic, won’t you?

Monday Morning Hangover: Bucs @ Ravens Edition

November 30, 2010

Goob didn’t make it to the Tampa Bay vs. Ravens game this week, so there will be no cringe-worthy interview moments in this week’s Hangover (a la Miami, Atlanta, Carolina, etc.).  Just some good ol’ fashioned YouTube-yappin’.

Also, some bonus Buffalo Bills hate.

Buccaneers (7-3) @ Ravens (7-3)

November 26, 2010

This week, the Ravens play their third straight game against an NFC South opponent, taking on the upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Many Ravens fans had circled this game as a win coming into the season, as the Bucs were coming off a 3-13 2009 season, and have the youngest roster in the NFL. Tampa, however, has surprised so far in 2010, matching the Ravens’ 7-3 record, and look to be no walkovers on Sunday. The Ravens should still be able to pick up their eighth win of the year, but this game will be much tougher than we had hoped for when looking ahead to it back in September.

On paper, the Bucs’ offense doesn’t look too intimidating, as they are just 23rd in the NFL in yards per game. Second year quarterback Josh Freeman, though, has been deceivingly efficient, throwing 14 touchdowns to go with only 5 interceptions and 1 lost fumble, good for a QB rating of 92.0 – just 0.1 behind Joe Flacco. Rookie wide receiver Mike Williams leads the team in receiving, with 43 catches for 681 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Ravens secondary, after basically a week off in Carolina last week, will have to be on top of their game, and prove that they can at least stop a good — if not elite — quarterback.

Where Freeman and the rest of the Tampa offense should really give the Ravens and their fans a case of post-Thanksgiving indigestion, though, is on the ground. Freeman is a horse at 6’6″ 250, and can really hurt opposing defenses with his feet. He has 236 rushing yards this season, and averages over 6 every time he decides to take off. Even more dangerous is rookie running back LeGarrette Blount. Blount, the former Oregon Duck (you remember him, right?), is a 6’0 247 lb. battering ram, and is averaging 4.4 yards per carry since the Bucs started really working him into the offense about five weeks ago. Throw in Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, a big threat catching passes out of the backfield, and the Ravens front seven will have their hands full this week.

Blount is like a more athletic Peyton Hillis, who torched the Ravens in Week 3 for Cleveland. The Ravens looked like they had gotten their run defense fixed two weeks ago in Atlanta, completely shutting down Michael Turner. Last week, though, Mike Goodson of the Carolina Panthers went for 120 yards against them. The outcome of this one will depend heavily on the Ravens’ run defense, and they’ll need to perform much better than they did in Charlotte to contain the Bucs’ much more potent attack.

I had hoped to devote an entire post this week to thoughts on fixing the run defense, but I found some other things to write about instead. So I’ll have to just spitball a bit here in the preview…

First off, Brandon McKinney should be back on the field. McKinney played in seven games earlier this year, and started four, but has been a healthy scratch the last three contests. He played very well when he was in there, and could be an asset for this team down the stretch.

Who does McKinney replace?

It may be sacrilege to Ravens fans, but I’d nominate Kelly Gregg. “Buddy Lee” is having his worst season, and at this point is a liability to this defense. He’s a fan favorite, but it may be time to give #97 a game or two off.

The next guy who could help bottle up Blount is Dannell Ellerbe. Ellerbe, whose specialty is being a run stuffer at the linebacker position, has apparently made his way into the infamous John Harbaugh “doghouse,” after some special teams penalties. Ellerbe, like McKinney, hasn’t been active since the Buffalo game. Not only are these two very good at helping shut down opposing running backs, but they should also both have very fresh legs. Keep an eye on the inactive list Sunday morning – if these two are on it, I’d be very disappointed, and that much more worried.

Regardless who is active on the defense, the entire unit needs to tackle better. Freeman and Blount will be licking their chops in film study this week seeing the Ravens’ dismal tackling of late. Keeping the yards after contact down will be especially crucial on Sunday against the physical runners the Bucs showcase.

Offensively, Joe Flacco and the rest of the Ravens will look to continue the kind of performance they put up in the first half of the Carolina game, and put the second half of that contest behind them. Remember, despite the 37 points put up by the team, the Ravens managed only two offensive touchdowns against the Panthers. Fortunately, they’re generally better at home, having put up 31, 37, and 26 points in their last three at The Big Crabcake. Flacco has eight touchdowns and no interceptions at home this season (although defenders have dropped should-be interceptions on at least three occasions), and will look to continue that trend against a Tampa squad that is tied for second in the NFL with 15 picks.

The Bucs’ ability to force turnovers helps mask their deficiencies in run defense, where they rank 29th, giving up over 136 yards per game. Ray Rice and Willis McGahee should be in for big games, though at this point I’m not still delusional enough to think that Cam Cameron will come into the game with a plan of anything but something along the lines of “we’re going to pass the ball because they THINK we’re going to run it!” I can’t help but think back to the Buffalo game – the Bills came into B’More with the league’s worst run defense, and the Ravens’ first possession went: pass, pass, pass, punt. Tampa can’t stop the run, has very strong cornerbacks in Ronde Barber and Aqib Talib, and thrives on interceptions, so needless to say I expect a similar ass-backwards attack from Cam as the one we saw against Buffalo (at least prior to the Bills playing “light up the scoreboard.”) Hopefully the Ravens have enough talent running routes and throwing the football to move the ball and get into the end zone in spite of the guy calling in the plays.

With this game getting “flexed” by the NFL and moved to a 4:15 start from it’s original 1:00 slot, game time temperatures will drop significantly. Currently, the forecast calls for a high temperature of about 47 degrees on Sunday, which will likely have the mercury dipping near 40 by the time the second half rolls around. Historically, Tampa is awful in the cold; the franchise didn’t win their first game that featured sub-40 degree temperatures at kickoff until their Super Bowl season of 2002. As a Ravens fan who will be sitting at M&T Bank Stadium shivering, I’ll gladly plan on piling on an extra layer if it means the Ravens have even a slightly better chance of emerging victorious. If Mother Nature is on our side Sunday, all the better.

We’ll likely know by game time whether or not Pittsburgh pushes their record to 8-3, as they play at 1 PM. They are in Buffalo, so most likely the Ravens will need this win to keep pace in the division. Moreover, the Ravens need to win this game regardless of what the Steelers do, as the rest of the schedule doesn’t get any easier. If they can’t defeat this feisty but inexperienced (and, truthfully, overachieving) Bucs squad on their own turf, what chance do we really give them against the likes of Pittsburgh and New Orleans here, and Houston and Cleveland teams on the road?

Gotta have this one.

Ravens 27 Bucs 17

Hey Raven "Fan" Team-Bashers: SHUT. UP.

November 25, 2010

The Baltimore Ravens are currently 7-3. It’s the best record they’ve ever had under head coach John Harbaugh, and tied for the second best 10-game start in team history (they were 8-2 in 2006, and 7-3 in 2004, both under Brian Billick). However, listening to the local airwaves, an outsider who didn’t know any better would think the Ravens must be battling for the title of worst team in the league.

I love my team, and as a result I love my fellow Ravens fan. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve high-fived (or even hugged) strangers at Ravens games, simply because they were experiencing the exact same joy that I was at that moment, and we wanted to share our exuberance together. That said, Ravens fans — at least the ones who call into the local sports talk radio stations — make me want to drive around the greater Baltimore metro area handing out dunce caps.

“Mark Bulger should be the starting quarterback.”

“Joe Flacco has regressed.”

“John Harbaugh needs to be fired.”

“Sure, they’re 7-3, but the Ravens aren’t very good!”

These and similar arguments litter the purple discourse to a sickening degree nowadays. If you’ve uttered any of the above phrases (or similar), in recent weeks, I have one request for you:

Throw yourself in traffic.

Or, better yet…off a bridge.

If you’re a Ravens fan and want to hate on Joe Flacco, go ahead and do this

A little over a year ago, I was trying to talk Ravens fans back from the ledge after the team lost to Cincinnati at home and fell to 4-4. Being despondent about the playoff chances of a 4-4 team is at least understandable. But crying in your purple camo over a 7-3 squad? This I just can’t even begin to comprehend, so I’m not even going to bother trying to talk those people off the cliff. Just go ahead and jump, man. If you’re not happy now, I’m not convinced you possess the ability to be.

None of this is to say that the team, or any players on the roster, are above reproach or beyond criticism.

The run defense needs to be fixed, and soon.

The red zone offense leaves plenty to be desired at the moment.

And we just saw our first big special teams play of the season, in Week 11.

All of these problems are glaring and could ultimately spell the downfall of this team. However, the degree of “sky is falling” woefulness that callers to local sports talk radio stations are displaying goes well beyond the rational arguments regarding the deficiencies of the 2010 Ravens. Despite all of the above mentioned issues, if the season ended today, the Ravens would have the NUMBER TWO seed in the AFC.

Yes, you read that right. Here, have a look:

That’s right. The Ravens would have a bye and a home playoff game, were the season to end today. On top of that, they have held a lead in the fourth quarter of every single game this season. Even in their three losses, they led at some point during the final period of play.

Donnie Pessimistic Ravens fan from Middle River (or Glen Burnie, or Annapolis, or Easton – not trying to single out anybody’s hometown here, just using an example) sees that and says “yeah, well, that means they should be 10-0.”

Nobody is 10-0. Get real.

Nestminder Optimistic Ravens fan would like to point out that they could just as easily be 4-6 (squeaked out wins over New York, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo) as be 10-0.

Again, the team has issues that need to be fixed. However, calling for a changing of the personnel (quarterback, head coach, GENERAL MANAGER?!) in the midst of a playoff-caliber campaign is lunacy of the highest degree. And yet, day in and day out, that’s what comes out of my speakers as I drive to and from work.

The people who have to deal first-hand with this type of idiocy — the sports talk show hosts — have the foremost ability to either:

A) Cut it off at it’s root, sparing us level-headed fans from the word vomit of talk show callers


B) Facilitate the word vomit, stoking the flames of reactionary and pessimistic fanhood.

Let’s take a look at some of those who should be commended for A), and some others who need a scolding for B).

Rob Long

The man

As I stated in an earlier post about Adalius Thomas, I consider Rob Long to be the best sports talk show host in the area (for the uninitiated, he is on Fox 1370 from 8-12 AM). While there are a multitude of reasons I love Rob’s show, I need to focus on one big reason here.

Rob Long has NO problem telling idiot Ravens fans that they are being absolutely ridiculous.

At least a half dozen times this season I’ve heard someone call into Rob and start bashing Joe Flacco.

“He holds onto the ball too long.”

“He’s regressed.”

“He doesn’t call his own plays.”

“He can’t read a defense.”

And on, and on, and on, ad infinitum.

Usually, these fools can only get a couple words into their prepared rants before Rob cuts them off and berates them with the question nobody seems to be able to answer: “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM THIS GUY?”

Seriously, Ravens fans, WTF do you want? You want him to be Peyton Manning. Yeah, well guess what? There has only been one Peyton Manning in the history of NFL football, and there won’t be another any time soon.

What are the measures of a “good” quarterback?

There are a few schools of thought on that.

One camp will throw out wins as the end-all be-all. They’ll say that Joe Montana is obviously the greatest quarterback of All-Time, but that Terry Bradshaw and Troy Aikman should be in the discussion too, based on their respective collections of Super Bowl rings.

Others will tout stats. “Dan Marino,” they say, is the best ever. “Or Peyton Manning.” Just look at those numbers!

Then there’s the people who look at both stats and Super Bowl rings, and say that a guy like John Elway is clearly the greatest.

Joe Flacco obviously doesn’t have the stats of a Dan Marino or the trophy case of a Joe Montana.

What Joe Flacco does have are plenty of each of the main benchmarks of quarterbacking success: Wins, and numbers.


Flacco has a career record of 27-15 in the regular season through 2+ years in the league. He’s played in five playoff games in two years — all on the road, mind you — and won three of them. Along with Matt Ryan of Atlanta, in 2008 he became the first rookie QB in NFL history to start all 16 games for a playoff team.

Manning was 23-19 through his first 42 games – a full four behind Joe.

Ben Roethlisberger? Despite starting his career an amazing 14-0 as a starter, his regular season record was 31-11 after 42 games – just four ahead of Joe.

Flacco has last-minute comeback touchdown passes against Pittsburgh and Atlanta this year. Both SHOULD have resulted in wins, but only one did. How anybody can say Joe isn’t a winner is completely beyond me.


You want to talk stats? How about Joe Flacco is STILL the NFL’s highest rated passer since Week 3. Higher than Manning, higher than Brady, higher than Brees, higher than Aaron Rodgers.

He’s currently the 14th-rated passer in the league, at 92.1, which still clocks in higher than guys like Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, Matt Schaub, and Carson Palmer. Take away that abortion of a game in Cincinnati in Week 2, and his season passer rating jumps to 101.7 (yes, I calculated it), which would be fourth in the NFL, ahead of all but Mike Vick, Philip Rivers, and Roethlisberger.

The fact that a still sizable portion of the Ravens’ fan base is not “sold” on Joe Flacco boggles this blogger’s mind.  I’m willing to chalk it up to the fact that this city hasn’t seen a good quarterback since Bert Jones (one good season of Steve McNair notwithstanding), and as a result, doesn’t know good gunslinging when it walks it’s unibrow’d ass up to their doorstep and punches them across the face.

Back to the talking heads…

Damon “The Bulldog” Yaffe and Ken Weinman of 105.7 “The Fan.”

Artist’s rendition of Yaffe and Weinman

These two are the poster boys for enabling the Baltimore fan whine party to rage on.  Listening to Weinman and Bulldog this week, you’d think that the Ravens were 0-10.  Every few minutes during their diatribes against everything from Cam Cameron’s playcalling to Joe Flacco’s decision making to the number of towels the towel boy hands out during the game, these two would mutter something along the lines of “of course, we’re happy they’re 7-3,” before continuing on complaining about everything purple under the sun.

This, of course, only serves to vindicate and facilitate the morons who call into these shows, lending credence to the idea that “hey, I know exactly what I’m talking about! I should be coaching the team! We’d be undefeated then!”

“Bulldog” is probably the worst local radio personality as it is.  Few and far between are the times that I can listen to him spew his nonsense, cut off callers, and act like coaching special teams at the high school football level makes him an authority on NFL schemes and tactics without switching the dial after five minutes.  It’s a shame that a consummate professional like Mark Viviano got stuck with “Bulldog” and his surgically attached backwards baseball cap.  He is awful.  This week, though, was above and beyond bad, even for him.

Bob Haynie

This isn’t to suggest that EVERYONE on “The Fan” is terrible.  The only local sports radio personality who can even come close to giving Rob Long a run for his money is Bob Haynie.  Haynie works sparingly on “The Fan,” (which is a crime in itself, and a whole other can of worms) after a long career at WNST.  Hopefully, he gets his own show sooner rather than later (also, hopefully the suits at CBS radio don’t stick him with some turd like Bulldog or Anita Marks).

Wednesday night, Haynie opened his show with the questions “are we (hosts and fans) too negative?”  It was like a breath of fresh air after hearing Weinman go off during the same time slot on Tuesday evening.  Haynie voiced nearly the same opinion that I’m giving here, that he had listened to “The Fan” all week, and was floored by how negative the callers and hosts all were when discussing a 7-3 team.  It was good to hear, lest I start to feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

Perhaps the best thing about Haynie is that he prefaces and follows everything he says with “this is only my opinion;” as opposed to Bulldog, who tells you to change the station if you don’t like what he says.

I really hope and believe it is simply the vocal minority who are truly unhappy with the Ravens at this point.  Again, constructive criticism is always welcome over blind homerism, but this week has far crossed the line of “constructive.”

In closing, I’ll say this.  Ravens fans are always quick to point out that the National media “gives us no respect.”  In actuality, it’s the local guys…and WE RAVENS FANS…who sell our team short.

Want proof?

ESPN has the Ravens ranked #3 in their power rankings this week.  That’s the highest of any 7-3 team, and above the 8-2 Jets.’s Solomon Wilcots, who called the game for CBS Sunday, had this to say:

After watching the Ravens dismantle the Panthers last week, I left the stadium very impressed with the team from Baltimore. Right now, I think they’re as good as any team in the AFC, and most importantly they’re ascending.

The Ravens play what I call great complimentary football, where the offense knows how to protect the defense, and the defense knows how to defend until the offense gets going.

Beware of the Ravens down the stretch.

It seems like the National guys like our team more than we do here at home.

Again…constructive criticism and voicing concerns about the team? Fine and appreciated.

Overt whining and “sky is falling” mentalities? Annoying and overplayed.  The team is 7-3.  Enjoy it, at least a a little bit, would ya?

Dolphins Fan Loses Bet

November 24, 2010

A friend of mine was born and raised in Miami. This friend now lives in Chattanooga, TN and had an open invite ( WHICH HE DECLINED) to come to the game with me a few weekends ago.

Because this friend is apparently not die hard enough to travel and watch his team (back when the hype train was actually moving) he is now subject to much ridicule because of a bet- which was his idea.

Knowing how awesome the Ravens are and how they had no shot to lose to Miami, I decided to take this bet. Had I lost, you would have seen me making a Dolphins post game video wearing a Dolphins jersey. We all know the outcome of the game so we can now bask in victory (even though it was weeks ago) and thank the lord that we aren’t having to stoop as low as this guy.


Dolphins Loser

O's Finalize Coaching Staff

November 24, 2010

Willie Randolph Bench coach Willie Randolph of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on against the New York Mets on April 17, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Willie Randolph

Today the Orioles announced they have hired Willie Randolph as bench coach.

And now back to Ravens coverage….

Ben-AD-ict Arnold Redux

November 24, 2010

Over three years ago, we B’More fans were hurt and angered by the words of the newly-former Raven Adalius Thomas.  Here at the Nest, we reported the story under the title “Ben-AD-ict Arnold,” referring to Thomas’ nickname of “AD” and the most famous traitor of all-time, Benadict Arnold (no relation – I don’t think).  Thomas, speaking to Sports Illustrated, reportedly had this to say about his former home:

“You’ve got to remember, I’m coming in from Baltimore,” says Thomas. “People there wanted the limelight, people sought out the limelight, starting with the head coach. It was a star-studded system. Here it’s about as different as you can get. Everybody here shies away from being the star guy. Nobody on this team beats his chest. They just all go about their business. And win.”

Speaking with Rob Long, the best radio host in Baltimore (more on that later in the week), on his “Way Back Wednesday” segment last week, AD cleared the air.  According to Thomas, the SI writer not only completely took his words out of context, but he also totally neglected from his story all the good things AD said about his former teammates and coaches.

Now, we’ve all grown very weary of the endless string of “I was misinterpreted,” or “I was taken out of context” claims from athletes, entertainers, and celebrities of every ilk over the last several years.  Every time anybody says something that anyone in our overly “PC” society could take a modicum of offense to, that is their standard defense.

“I was mis-quoted.”

It’s easy to be cynical about that type of retraction.  However, listening to AD talk, I was convinced that he was genuinely upset and angered by the way his words were crafted in the article.  He stated that he was simply responding to a question about the differences between the football culture in Baltimore and in his new home in New England.  Thomas said that the interview was much longer and more intricate than simply that small quote that was attributed to him, and that, despite the way the quote came across, he certainly had no issues with the “beat your chest” mentality of the Ravens.

Long called him out as well, saying that Thomas was known to get up and “beat his chest” and play to the crowd after a big play as much as Ray Lewis or Terrell Suggs.  Thomas freely admitted as much, and reiterated that he meant no offense.  AD said that he called Sports Illustrated to request the entire transcript from the interview, but he was rebuffed by the writer, who told him that SI’s legal department didn’t think that would be a good idea.

In the end, it’s obvious that it was simply a case of a writer manufacturing a story based on some erratically stitched together words, hoping to generate controversy.  And if you remember, it worked like a charm.  The “AD Zings Baltimore” story was all over not only the local airwaves, but ESPN as well.

Mission accomplished, shady sports writer.

AD went as far as to say that any media member who does the sort of thing that SI did to him should be banned from one-on-one interviews with athletes.  While that certainly has little chance of happening, Thomas’ anger over the whole thing was clear to anyone listening.

Ravens fans, don’t stay mad at Adalius Thomas.  We are happy to accept AD’s explanation on the issue, and bury the hatchet once and for all.

As a matter of fact…what’s AD up to nowadays?  I know a certain team that is in desperate need of another playmaker on the defensive side of the ball…

At the end of the interview, Long asked Thomas if he would still be able to help a team, should he receive a call from a general manager looking to sign him.  “Of course,” replied Thomas, before explaining that, despite being 33 years old, he really doesn’t have the body of a typical 33-year old football player, as he played only sparingly for his first few years in the league, and hasn’t suited up for a full season since 2007.

After that, he implored Ozzie Newsome to give him a call.

Ozzie, listen to the man.

Goob on TV…Again

November 24, 2010

In what is becoming a weekly occurrence, Goob Theoharris was once again spotted on the real TV (as opposed to the fake TV, YouGoob YouTube.)  Last week, of course, he was seen creepily stalking Joe Flacco.  This time around, he congratulates Coach Harbaugh on the win over Carolina.

As seen on 1 Winning Drive on Comcast Sports Net

Goob, Thousands of Ravens Fans, Flock to Charlotte

November 23, 2010

Nest roving reporter Goob Theoharris, fresh off his trip to Atlanta for the Ravens-Falcons game, made the cross state trek from Raleigh to Charlotte to see the Ravens take on the Carolina Panthers.

Wanna see how it went? (sacrilege warning @ 6:43)

How nobody pulls a Richard Seymour to this guy’s Ben Roethlisberger, I seriously have no idea.