#DMD GAME DAY
Week 11


Sunday — November 19, 2017
Volume XXXX — Issue 19

Baltimore Ravens at Green Bay Packers

1:00 PM EST

Lambeau Field
Green Bay, Wisconsin

Spread: Ravens -2


this is a big one today for ravens


This game today at Lambeau Field won't formally decide the Ravens' playoff fate, but I'm willing to bet come end of December it will factor prominently in whether or not John Harbaugh's team plays post-season football.

At the start of the season, we all circled this game in Green Bay as a loss. But that was when Aaron Rodgers was healthy and taking every snap behind center for the Packers.

Without him, no matter what happened last Sunday in Chicago, Green Bay is a league bottom feeder.

Can Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense get Mike Wallace going today in Green Bay?

Heck, the Ravens are 4-5 with one of the most unpredictable offenses in the entire NFL and they're actually favored in today's game.

That says far more about the Packers and their Rodgers-less plight than it does about the Ravens, trust me. And, while Vegas knows a thing or two about football teams, scores and potential outcomes, they could easily miss the mark with this game today.

The Ravens are capable of doing just about anything this afternoon at Lambeau Field.

They could come out with their chakras in line like they did in Oakland back in early October, score a couple of early touchdowns, suffocate the Packers, and win with ease by the tune of 33-17.

Or, as they did in Minnesota a couple of weeks after that stunning road win over the Raiders, the Ravens could stumble and bumble their way through a listless offensive performance and fall in a bore-fest by 20-10.

Let's be honest. The Ravens lost to Case Keenum. And Blake Bortles. And even though he didn't actually do much of anything, Mitch Trubisky even beat John Harbaugh's team.

If the Ravens can lose to those three this season, they can sure lose to some guy named Brett Hundley.

But they better not.

This one, today, will go a long way in determining Baltimore's playoff future.

Sure, they'll have to win a bunch of other games down the stretch, but, like today, they'll be favored in nearly all of their final six games in 2017.

They need this contest to go their way this afternoon at Lambeau Field.

Come the end of December, this one might extend their season or send them to the college football highlight reels after the New Year.

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keys to today's game


For the Ravens --

Score in the first quarter: If you believe in such things, the numbers suggest the Ravens will win or lose this one based on what they do on offense in the opening 15 minutes. In three of their four wins thus far in 2017, the Ravens scored at least one touchdown in the first quarter. In the other win, against the Bengals, they recorded a first-quarter field goal en-route to a 20-0 shutout of Cincinnati. So this one's easy to figure out. The Ravens stand an excellent chance of winning if they can score a touchdown (or more) in the first quarter.

Pressure Hundley: The Baltimore defense needs to step up today, particularly given that Brett Hundley is largely inexperienced and likely very susceptible to a turnover or two if the Ravens can stress him. Dean Pees needs to dial up a defense that focuses on constant pressure, even at the expense of perhaps playing man-coverage in any down and distance situation. Whether it's Suggs or the linebackers or Webb and another defensive back blitzing, the Ravens must make life tough for Hundley for sixty minutes.

Go downfield, Joe: This one will be music to Flacco's ears. The Ravens need to get the ball downfield today. Remember that first play at Oakland? The long sideline throw to Mike Wallace set up a wild, wild west type of performance from Flacco and the receivers against the Raiders. Let Flacco go today. He'll like that.



For the Packers --

Hurry up, hurry up: It might seem dangerous to go hurry-up with Hundley in there behind center, but the Packers would be smart to mix in a lot of hurry-up offense today and keep the Ravens from being able to get blitz-package personnel in the game at any time of their choosing. It doesn't have to be every series, of course, but the more the Packers mix it up, the better their chances of catching the Ravens with a bad mix of personnel on the field.

Close down the Baltimore running game: In order for Flacco to get put in the spotlight and be forced to make something happen, the Packers have to contain the Ravens running game. As we know after watching two years of Marty Mornhinweg at the helm, he'll abandon the run if Baltimore clocks in with 39 yards on 13 carries in the first half. Getting Flacco to throw the ball 35 or more times is paramount to the Packers and their chances for success.

Take the points: With the weather potentially a factor and the possibility of the Baltimore offense staggering through another sixty minutes, the Packers should take any chance for points today. This could easily be a 13-10 game. Score whenever you can.

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how drew sees today's game


Everything about today's contest in Green Bay points to the Ravens winning.

Well, except for the fact that it's a road game and we've seen time and time again that the Jekyll and Hyde version of the Ravens often shows up away from Baltimore.

If it's a road game, there's a good chance Justin Tucker will play a key role for the Ravens today.

Other than that, though, everything favors John Harbaugh's team.

Our quarterback is better than their quarterback.

For the first time since the season opener, Danny Woodhead is available for duty. He should help.

The Ravens are coming off their bye. Green Bay played last Sunday in Chicago.

Even though they're technically still alive in the NFC playoff race, the Packers are probably well aware that this is a lost season without Aaron Rodgers engineering things at quarterback.

The Ravens are in the thick of the AFC race and, because there really aren't many other good teams in the hunt with them, this is a critical contest in Green Bay this afternoon. They need a win more than the hosts, truth be told.

Nothing at all points to Green Bay winning today.

And they won't.

The Ravens will jump out early with a first quarter TD throw from Flacco to Maclin and they'll build a 13-3 halftime.

Green Bay will connect with a 3rd quarter TD to make it 13-10, but a fourth quarter Flacco quarterback sneak will finalize the scoring and give the Ravens a 20-10 win to improve 5-5 on the year.

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show me the money


Right on cue, "Show Me The Money" is on a two-week winning streak and piling up the holiday shopping funds for you.

Our "Expert-Super-Insider" is back for week three, having compiled a 3-2 mark a week ago to go with his debut record of 3-1-1 back on November 5.

Since you have Christmas gifts to buy, let's get to the games so you can go out and do some shopping around 4:30 pm today.

BILLS AT CHARGERS (-5.5) -- The Bills offensive line is a mess. They're starting a rookie quarterback. They're traveling across country. Los Angeles is a bit of an iffy pick here based on Philip Rivers and his concussion status, but late-week-practice-signs point to him playing today in L.A. This one goes to the Chargers, as they cover the 5.5 points and beat up on the misfits from Buffalo, 30-17.


LIONS (-3) AT BEARS -- In a match-up between Stafford and Trubisky, there's a clear favorite. And it's not the rookie. As long as Detroit doesn't turn the ball over offensively, Chicago won't be able to score enough points to survive in this one. It's close, and the Bears have a chance at the end, but the Lions hold on to cover and win, 23-17.


CHIEFS (-10) AT NY GIANTS -- The Giants are 1-9. They lost last week to the 49'ers. They're a wreck. Kansas City could win this game by just about any score they want. But this is the week the Giants fight and scratch and gain some respectability, even if they don't come out on top. We're going with the Giants as 10-point home underdogs, but K.C. kicks a late field goal to pull out a 24-23 win.


JAGUARS (-8) AT CLEVELAND -- So much of this game depends on the availability of running back Leonard Fournette. If he plays, Jacksonville could win in a romp. If he doesn't, things are much potentially much different. Cleveland's defense is actually fairly respectable. And the Jags could be due for a letdown. We're taking the Browns and the 8 points at home, and even going so far as to call a Cleveland upset win, 17-16.


EAGLES (-5) AT COWBOYS -- A prime-time divisional game where the home team is getting 5 points? Really? I realize the Cowboys don't have Ezekiel Elliott, but this one is too inviting to pass up. Against what some would consider conventional wisdom, we're taking Dallas here, to both cover and win. The Eagles get the cleat of reality and the Cowboys stay alive in the NFC playoff race with a 27-23 home victory.


BEST BET OF THE DAY: -- The Chargers win in a romp at home over Buffalo, 30-17. Take L.A. and give the 5.5 points here.

THIS SEASON TO DATE: 22-27-1

LAST WEEK'S RECORD: 3-2

BEST BET OF THE DAY: 4-6



#dmd comments


mike from catonsville     November 19
While Bucknell is a good team and have played everyone really tough even in losing efforts they are still in the Patriot League which is a notch above the MEAC. It would not have been a "Coppin State" loss of many moons ago but it's never good to lose to a Patriot league team. No knock to those young men and women but truthfully they aren't in the same league. (pun intended). This was a pay for play game that almost cost the Terps as much as they paid to Bucknell to come in to lose. Close to a double loss . Also glad to see the St.Joe grad again play well and was the catalyst in the win.

DELRAY RICK     November 19
Its curtains if the RAVENS lose today. If they use the same BORING CALLS you get the same BORING RESULTS.

English teacher     November 18
So saying you "witnessed" this hole on one is a Fact or an Opinion?? ;)

George     November 18
@Ghost – The #DMD Manual of Usage & Style isn’t issued to mere part-timers. I use the one for National Enquirer writers. It requires “holes-in-one,” because ‘hole’ is the noun being pluralized.

Ghost of JROB     November 18
Is it "hole-in-ones" or "holes-in-one". I say the latter. George will know.

ray ray     November 18
Steve From Pimlico if you dont like the articles and dont like the comments what are you here for, the ads?

Steve from Pimlico     November 18
Screw all this Ricky Fowler and hole in one talk. People are just using this site to write short stories and eventually it seems a novel. Be consise and informative. If golf was this important ,talk radio would pay more attention to it. This site is turning into a country club 19th hole.

J.J.     November 18
@Drew where are your 4 hole in one? Which courses?

DR (the original)     November 18
@Herman not sure, but I do remember specifically that he made one this year at the Players on the 17th hole island green. If you could make one hole-in-one anywhere that would be a good place to do it!

HERMAN     November 18
How many hole-in-ones does Ricky Fowler have?


Fat Frankie     November 18
My hole-in-one story is a long one, so I'm only going to tell one part. My cousin and I were playing in Ocean City. We rounded a turn and there was a pretty young girl is shorts and a t-shirt sitting next to a small table set up on the green of a par-three. It was a "contest" called Million Dollar Hole-In-Oneand the money supposedly went to kidney cancer research. You paid $5, and if you got it on the green you got a sleeve of balls and if you got a hole-in-one you got a trip out to Las Vegas, $1,000 and a chance to play in a tournament out there and one par three was worth $1,000,000. So, to be honest, I thought that I hit through the green, but we couldn't see my ball. So we all went down to the green to look and I went straight for the cup. When I saw my ball at the bottom, I turned to this pretty young girl and said, "Gimme a hug!" She looked at me and went, "eeewwww, No!" True story.

Bob from Hereford     November 18
Should the O's change the dimensions of Camden Yards to make it a legit major league playing field that fair to the pitchers and hitters? I have heard national baseball reporters, current pitchers, and retired pitchers say that they don"think it is fair. Some free agent ptcher may not come to the O's because of the ballpark according to many. This means that the only way to improve the staff is by trade or player development. The asking price for a quality pitcher on trade market is very steep. We have not developed a good pitcher (except Mussina) since the Yards opened. They seem to show pormise in the minors but flame out when they reach the majors. Some have become successful elsewhere after the O's trade or give up on them. Do Camden's dimensions get in their heads or are unable to be successful in a small because of their style, start trying to be too fine with the strike zone and end up with high pitch counts and walks. Camden is 25 years old. Prior to then The O,s developed many pitchers. Is the ballpark a big negative in the development and does iy make it hard to acquire pitchers by free agency? Is the only solution to move the fences back?

George     November 17
@MFC – A few weeks ago, I gave my humble opinion on the pitfalls of ceding one’s own judgment to a computer algorithm that “seems” official [and even calls itself so in its own name]. As is your right, you [obviously] rejected that opinion.

Let’s do an experiment.

Since the inception of the OWGR in 1986, there have been 128 major championships. If, before each of those majors, I had given you the Top Ten golfers on the OWGR just ahead of the tournament, and offered even money that none of the ten would win, would you have accepted or declined the wagers?


mike from catonsville     November 17
@George, the World Golf Rankings are statistically measured and ranked. It has NOTHING to do with hats, social media , followers, hot girlfriends etc. etc. etc. It has EVERYTHING to do with how you play. Statistically he is one of the top players in the world.



Please start picking another topic until RF starts to drop out of the top 25. Then you may have a case.

George     November 17
@Herman -- True. Sorry!

@DF – In the thesis of your piece today, you might just be right. Rickie may break out this year. Hogan floundered around on Tour for the first decade of his career, much like Rickie has floundered around for the first 10 years of his.

My point is – why is there this CONSTANT focus on Fowler, when Nick Watney, Patrick Reed, Ryan Moore, Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Dufner, Jimmy Walker, Henrik Stenson, Bill Haas, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, Jason Day, and Rory McIlroy have all had much more success than Rickie, and when Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, who haven’t been around as long as Fowler but have left him in their dust?

I say it’s because of his attire, looks, commercial frequency, and ability to photo bomb, scene bomb, and social-media bomb, and this constant presence is interpreted (wrongly!) as skill in golf. He’s golf’s equivalent of the Kardashians – famous for being famous.

HERMAN     November 17
@George

Brevity is the soul of wit

Chris     November 17
Hate to say it but @George is approaching "Brien status" with his hatred of Fowler. It is very similar to Brien's constant hatred of Flacco.

DF     November 17
@George --



Never once in my piece did I write that Fowler is "good for the game". That sort of stuff is for the birds. If Rickie Fowler finished 120th on the money list two years in a row he wouldn't be "good for the game". Fowler is popular with people because he is successful on the course. Kids wouldn't that goofy orange hat anymore if he suddenly stopped being successful.



Fowler is an extremely competent player no matter what your crazy eyes tell you. The numbers don't lie. He is a top 10 player in the world.

H     November 17
The NFL team that has given up the least amount of points this season is the Rams who have yielded 162 points over 9 games. The 2000 Ravens gave up 160 points in 16 games. Mind boggling,

George     November 17
@DF, DF, DF . . . . – Didn’t choke on my coffee. I’m not really surprised. I’ve been worried about you for some time.

Your BAPIB indicated you’d go off the literary cliff sometime in this quarter, and now that you’re airborne, I just hope you land softly.

I hear you wrote this drivel while in Pinehurst, which is in North Carolina, and North Carolina’s the state where the legislature has banned the citation of scientific statistics from peer-reviewed articles in any report produced by the state that deals with climate change, sea-level rise, species extinction, and air and water quality.

In a similar way, the pap you delivered today on Fowler is bereft of science yet long on soft-headed and self-serving opinion. You state that Matt Kuchar can’t close, and although you at least have the integrity to not write it clearly, you imply that Fowler CAN close.

Did you have your head in the sand during last year’s FedEx Cup playoffs? We with our eyes open saw Rickie collapse on the last day of an early tournament and blow a final-round lead. We also saw where, a few weeks later, when needing something like a 17th-place finish or better to get to East Lake, your boy stunk up the joint and finished near last.

Don’t let facts get in your way: Fowler has closed four times, Kuchar seven.

I note that you and Alert Commenter “Herman,” who appears in other respects to be both reasonable and intelligent, have begun to parrot the latest tagline spun out by the Fowler sponsor consortium – that he’s “good for the game.” I think they put this line in a couple of frames of each of the legion of commercials Rickie does, and the words become imprinted on your brains, to be trotted out in mindless response to some rational person who tells you that Rickie is a no more than a journeyman.

Rickie wasn’t able to earn his way onto the Ryder Cup team last year, but was a Captain’s Pick, even though he had a losing record and had never won a singles match. One of the rationals was that he was “good in the clubhouse.” I shudder to think what this means, but note that many writers and broadcasters parroted this line, so it too must have been embedded in the Fowler commercials.

In last week’s event, Fowler was a shot behind Kizzire starting the final round. Kizzire landed two right hand leads early in the match, and combined with a Rickie stumble, found himself with a four-shot lead. He then cruised to an easy victory.

I tremendously admire Rickie Fowler’s financial acumen. He has parlayed flashy clothes, long hair, boyish good looks, and a [admittedly pencil-enhanced] mustache into sponsorship deals that exceed by whole-number factors the deals struck by much more successful golfers. But you sadly mistake seeing Rickie in a staggeringly high percentage of the commercials shown during golf tournaments [he was also mercilessly inflicted on us during the World Series] for seeing him in the Winner’s Circle. If you saw Rickie finish second last week against a second-tier field, you’ve seen his highest finish of the 2017-18 season.

We who love #DMD and its otherwise excellent insight and opinion are truly worried about you. Perhaps we should set up an intervention.

Tom J     November 17
Annnnnnnddd yes Brien, the O-Line is a huge problem. Not the only problem but you have to win in the trenches. Do you see the stiffs they are trotting out there at guard..?? These guys shouldn't even be in a NFL roster let alone be starting on one.

HERMAN     November 17
@TimD sums it up in once sentence, excellent.

They have drafted playmaker after playmaker. And took Harrison who we cut from our practice squad and made him a superstar. Like New England they seem to be able to take quality athletes and plug-and-play them into their system, making them into high achievers.

Baltimore has always had what I call the "Ray Chester" problem. The Colts got Ray Chester, all pro, from the Raiders. Under our "system" he stunk it up. We let him go back to the Raiders, he was an all-pro the year he went back.

Jason M     November 17
DF used to talk about pedigree with certain organizations, and an expectation of winning. I think the Stillers have that little something extra that organizations like Montreal, NY Yankees have, where everyone has high expectations. It's lots of littler things all tempered by the concept that we're part of something special that is worth fighting for.

Brian from Towson     November 17
Anyone going to Green Bay? If so, where are you hanging out Saturday night or Sunday morning?

TimD in Timonium     November 17
Was thinking the same thing last night - HOW are the Steelers so good? For starters, they've surrounded Big Ben with play-makers. Brown and Bell are arguably the best at their positions in the NFL.



Drafting prowess? No better example than 2010. With the 194th pick, the Ravens selected OT Ramon Harewood. At 195, the Steelers took WR Antonio Brown. Game over.

DR (the original)     November 17
First of all, all jokes aside, the worst franchise in the history of sports is the Phillies, not the Flyers :)

Yes, in the last 3 seasons, the Steelers are a way better team than the Ravens. The Steelers have Ben, Bell and Brown, the Ravens don't. For the seven years before that, they had the same exact record (72-40). If we were wondering how the Steelers are always so good, they were wondering the same thing.

Fireball Roberts     November 17
The Steelers draft better than the Ravens. I could tell you the name of the Penguins GM but not the Steelers. This mystery man is someone special...lol

unitastoberry     November 17
The Stillers have a HOF qb case closed. Remember when Mike Wallace played there? He has not been heard from since.

I too had no idea Captain Who passed away. Alex Hawkins was a good football player and a wildman about town. He could be seen and heard in many local night spots my late father drove a cab so he knew a lot about him. Lombardi drafted him and cut him imagine him and Max McGee out on the town lol. RIP to a truly unique man who would kill you to win a football game.

Brien Jackson     November 17
Aaaaaaaaand we're still sticking with the idea that the Ravens' O-line is a problem. It's amazing how entrenched falsehoods get with this fanbase.

Kenny G     November 17
Add to the fact the Steelers invested in an Oline and the talent you mentioned at some of the skilled positions came later in the draft - ie the Ravens miss on 1st WR Perriman but the Steelers hit with 3rd, 4th and 6th round selections. What really has Campanaro or Moore done as a similar Raven investment? And this disparity has been there for over a decade (Wallace, Sanders, Brown vs Taylor, Clayton, Perriman).

StevenShea     November 17
The difference between the Steelers and the Ravens is that the Ravens largely have cardboard cutouts for an offensive line. Football has always been first and foremost having our fat guys beat the other teams fat guys. Beyond that it’s all about who’s healthy and that was lost before the first tackle in preseason. The real question is why the Ravens have the most injuries year in and year out. Harbaugh has proven he can win with mediocre talent, but no one can win with no talent.

HERMAN     November 17
Fowler is good for the game. And it's great to see him playing consistently at a high level. What has happened to Bubba? Where is Hunter Mahan these days, it looks like he's fighting to save his card after a few years of brilliant play. Brandt Snedeker appears to have lost focus doing a few too many credit card commercials and dropped off the leader boards. But Ricky has maintained a high level of play even while some close friends dropped back into the second tier. The twenty-somethings watch Ricky on social media at Baker's Bay, they follow him on instagram and all those other sites, watching his antics with fellow tour young guns, and he makes them want to play the game.

And that's great for the sport.

Steve in Hunt Valley     November 17
Stomach turning to read but all very true, DF.



Thanks for an insightful article today.

Brien Jackson     November 17
@Eric



Re: Correa; People have been banging this since at least 2012...and they're not wrong. In fact, the Ravens are a mess with that kind of issue in the defensive front. The big question is whether it's a coaching thing or a drafting/front office thing, and it sure looks like it's at least partly the latter. They've got a glut of defensive tackles on the line, then they take rush specialists like Judon and Smith who are really hand in the dirt guys and push them out to the Jarrett Johnson role, and then the OLBs get slid to the inside. Predictably, their linebacking play has been really bad as a result.



And, incidentally, one thing they might consider for the offseason is cutting Suggs and switching to a 4-3 base.

Brien Jackson     November 17
There was a play in the first half where Roethlisberger took one step and just flipped a back shoulder throw to Brown for a mediumish gain. Nothing fancy, just a short snap-and-go route where the ball gets there as Brown is breaking his route. The announcers immediately start talking about how the Steelers are going to pepper the Titans with plays like that to make them stop blitzing. Now compare that to how the Titans attacked the Ravens two weeks ago, and think about how many times you've seen Flacco throw that kind of quick, accurate timing route.



And there's your answer.

Brien Jackson     November 17
Lol, now we're citing playoff records again. We're gonna stick with lying to ourselves about Flacco forever no matter how bad it gets, aren't we?

eric     November 17
Ravens offered Flacco 100 mil in training camp, 4 game run got him extra 20 but as usual with NFL contracts no player that has signed for 100 mil has ever collected more than 70 mil. Contract gets torn up and player either gets cut or gets a new backloaded deal. I see Correia mom has chimed in ripping Harbaugh and sadly i have to completely agree with her. Why you would draft a guy high to play outside lb and immediately move him inside makes no sense and has had predictable results

Casual observer     November 16
Yea, why can't Ozzie predict the future after the fact, you know, like Brien can....sheesh

George     November 16
Does anyone know why Ben Roethlisberger wears an 82nd Airborne Division patch on the back of his helmet?

Clayton     November 16
I agree with Brien. If something is done and it turns out bad then the only correct thing to do is criticize whoever did the bad thing. Lame excuses are for losers.

Mike From Reisterstown     November 16
@Brien loves TT. Sorry Brien, I have to agree with @Ray Ray. Go look at Flacco's playoff win record leading up to that contract. You would be insane not to sign him. Why would Belichick or any other GM/HC ignore that 5 year run? Can you imagine the blow back in Baltimore if they did not sign him?

Brien Jackson     November 16
@Ray Ray



That's ridiculous. Belichick, for one, would have stayed on whatever number he would offer at the end of the regular season, and wouldn't let four games massively inflate his commitment.

Eric     November 16
So many morons at 105.7....im gueasing either Coleman or other no talent clown Weinmann said that. Terps are loaded but i have zero faith in Turgeon to get the max out of them.

Jason M     November 16
Anyone that talks sports for a living on the air, that says he doesn't want his hometown team to make the playoffs, is a dolt for all the reason DF pointed out, but also because your job will be a lot more interesting, ratings higher if we're playing in January. I stopped listening to sports talk when DF 'left'...it just gives me a headache when ever I hear it. I think it;s hard to do local sports talk 'right', ie. keep it interesting.

HERMAN     November 16
@George

"Captain Who" lived a very colorful life and was quite a character. His book was hilarious, and his stories of working around Baltimore in the off-season take you back to another time. He gained national fame with the whole "That's my story and I'm sticking to it" line that was made into a country song.

Anyone who wants a good read pick up the biography on Alex Hawkins, it's a quick read, but funny.

Ray ray     November 16
And Napoleon should have had a B-52. C'mon Brien! Nobody in the league would have let Flacco get away after the Super Bowl. To even say it is to engage in fantasy.

The truth     November 16
@Brien You just proved my point with your Moore comment: in the NFL, stuff happens. Every game, every season. Thus, all Taylor's stars while in BUF mean nothing (read David's article today on that topic).

I am not arguing Flacco has lived up to his contract, he clearly has not. The two points are at that point in time, you had to pay him (at the market price) and arguing Taylor would have been the way to go is not only revisionist history, it's totally fallible logic.

Your argument is out of the Ken Weiman playbook, which is a subset of the Preston playbook

DR (the original)     November 16
I get the idea that it's a franchise altering mistake, Mile High Miracle or not. The guy has obviously underperformed and is pretty bad now, while at the same time he's taking up way too much $.

But you have to admit...the team taking him in '08 was a franchise altering decision as well, in a good way.

Brien Jackson     November 16
All you really need to know to understand how the Ravens made a franchise altering mistake with Flacco is that they don't even entertain giving Joe the biggest contract in NFL history if Rahim Moore maintains deep coverage.

Brien Jackson     November 16
@The Truth



I'm genuinely curious why people say this. I mean, Taylor has been Buffalo's starter since 2015, and he's had a QBR of 70.3 and 68.4 in the prior two seasons, while Flacco has been 54.2 and 58.4 in 2015-16. Taylor is 27-9 in TDs to INTs, while Flacco is 28-25. Flacco's INT% is twice as high. And Taylor added 1,148 rushing yards in those two seasons. He's clearly been more productive than Flacco, and he's not only been cheaper, but his contract would be much more favorably structured giving the team far more leverage to cut bait and rebuild than they have now (and a team signing him with the non-exclusive tag would have netted two additional high first round draft picks). Instead they're stuck with one of the very worst starting QBs in the entire league for at least another 2-3 seasons.



I get why people worked backwards to defend Flacco in 2011-14 or so, but I don't get why it persists today.

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a story about a hole-in-one


I have no idea at all what her name was, where she was from or how many times she had done it before.

In a strange way, though, that made the whole scene even more interesting.

Yesterday at approximately 3:55 pm, I witnessed a hole-in-one.

To say I actually witnessed it would be a fib. But I was there. I saw it, sort of. I heard it. Or, that is, I heard the people around her roaring with approval when the ball found the bottom of the cup.

The accomplishment took place at "The Cradle" in Pinehurst, North Carolina. I'm at Pinehurst for the weekend playing in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes national scramble with three friends. We arrived late Thursday night and had time for a late stroll around The Cradle on Friday afternoon.

The par-3 course at Pinehurst -- The Cradle -- provided for some Friday afternoon dramatics yesterday.

For the uninitiated, The Cradle is a collection of nine, par-3 holes that just opened at the Pinehurst resort last summer. It sits on the piece of property that formerly was the first hole of the #3 and #5 courses.

It's 687 yards in length is The Cradle.

But it's a tough 687 yards.

The length of the holes range from 50 yards to 125 yards, with most of them roughly 75 yards or so.

They built this course over a six-month period at the start of 2017. They saw it as a place where golfers of all types could come together and zip around in one hour or so and play "real" golf while enjoying the fact that it didn't take forever to play and they'd likely still have their "golfing sanity" at the end of the round.

To wit, my eyes saw a foursome of serious golfers, a family of four, including a teen-age son and younger daughter, and two couples, one of which toted a newborn baby along as they all took turns hitting shots, laughing, and taking pictures with their phones.

"This," I said to no one in particular, "is exactly what they had in mind when they built this course. Everyone can play, for a variety or reasons, and get whatever they want out of it."

The greens on The Cradle are treacherous. The bunkering is perfect. Some of the holes are easy. Some are wildly challenging, even though you can literally throw the ball from the tee to the green on nearly every one of them.

The 4th hole is called "Over The Hill". It's perfectly situated for an event like the one I saw yesterday.

#4 sits approximately 25 yards from the 9th tee. To the left of the tee box is the 8th green, some 30 yards away at most. If people were putting on the 3rd green, it would be possible for four different groups of golfers to be in the neighborhood of the 4th tee box.

I was stationed in a golf cart, roughly 100 yards from the 4th tee. I had just played my nine holes with friends and a couple of us were relaxing and contemplating what kind of pizza to order later that night when I heard the screams.

I'm not sure if you've ever made a hole-in-one before, but there's something primal in all of us that forces out a scream when you hit a golf ball into the hole in one shot from the tee box.

It's so shocking when it happens. You play for years and years. You hit good shots, bad shots, shots that were memorable, shots you'd like to forget and, once or twice in your lifetime, shots that can't be duplicated.

I've made four hole-in-ones. The last one was January 1, 2007. I remember it like it was yesterday. It might be the last one I ever make or I might make one later today at Pinehurst #8.

That's why you scream in delight when you make a hole-in-one. You have no idea, none at all, if it's happening today, tomorrow or ever again.

The screams could be heard all over The Cradle and the accompanying large putting green at the resort.

"That's a hole-in-one!" I said to a friend as we immediately looked over in the direction of the sound.

In that instant, applause broke out.

The late Friday afternoon push to get in nine holes at The Cradle had the course filled with players. The group of four on the 9th tee erupted in applause and doffed their caps.

The woman who holed the shot celebrated with what looked to be three other female companions, although I couldn't say for sure if that was the case. They high fived and danced a jig and she bowed to those applauding from the 9th tee.

A family of three playing on the 3rd green raised their putters in recognition of the feat.

The closest group, putting out on the 8th green just to the left of the 5th tee, stopped what they were doing to celebrate the feat with her, clapping and cheering as if the shot somehow jumped them up a few places in a Saturday morning club tournament.

Everyone celebrated.

Oddly, the applause continued for ten or fifteen seconds. It was golf's version of a standing ovation, I suppose.

Have you been in a room before where everyone who was gathered stood up and applauded? You always find yourself sneaking a peak around you to see if anyone else has taken a seat yet. No one wants to be the first person to say, "OK, I've stood up and clapped long enough."

The lingering applause and whistles from those surrounding the 4th tee reminded me of that scene. Everyone just kept cheering and clapping, perhaps because they felt the whole thing deserved that adulation or maybe they just didn't want to stop first.

Either way, it was a reaction I'm sure the woman who hit the shot will never forget. There, for a moment, she was a champion golfer.

The afternoon sky was littered with a few clouds, but the sun beating down on that area of The Cradle made for an illuminating picture that made it look like a Hollywood movie crew was on hand to film the whole thing for an upcoming film.

The natural light only added to the beauty of the whole thing.

How many hole in ones is that for her? I wondered.

Being a new course and all, how many hole-in-ones had The Cradle yielded so far? Was there a chance the one I just "witnessed" on #4 was the first-one ever?

What club did she use? Did she pure the shot or skank it off the bottom groove and get the benefit of a fortunate bounce? Either way, it's a hole-in-one, but that's always a great part of the story.

Did she call it in the air? That happens, you know. "Get in the hole!" you'll say as the ball flies right at the pin. Nearly every single time you've said that in your life, the ball didn't go in the hole. But once or twice, a few more if you're really lucky, the ball actually will go into the hole in one shot, just as you commanded it to do mid-flight.

I kept thinking about the woman who made the hole-in-one as she and her group of fellow competitors approached the green to retreive her ball from the cup.

How long has she been playing golf? What if she just picked up the game in September and this was only her third or fourth time playing on a "real" course?

"What if," I asked myself -- no, this couldn't happen -- "today was the very first time she'd ever actually been on a golf course?"

As she picked the ball up out of the cup, she did what everyone does who authors a hole-in-one. She waved it in the air, as if an adoring crowd of thousands was there on the property cheering for her.

A few cars passed by on the road that borders the entrance to the resort. If they happened to be looking over in that direction at precisely the moment she was waving the ball, they'd have no idea of the circumstances they were seeing.

The folks on the 3rd green minutes before were now standing on the 4th tee. They applauded as she acknowledged them with a wave.

And then, just like that, people went back to their own games and the moment was done.

But that was something I'll likely not forget.

The late day sun continued to soak the course. The next group approached the 4th tee and played their shots.

I watched with keen interest, wondering, against all odds, if someone in that threesome could ace the 4th hole as well.

No one made a sound, so I assumed they didn't.

If you've been fortunate enough to make a hole-in-one, feel free to share a story or two in the Comments section below.

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with or without stanley, ravens need a win tomorrow


There's no sense in making a big deal about it because no one is offically going to "feel sorry" for the Ravens if offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley doesn't play on Sunday in Green Bay.

But it is a big deal. Stanley is an important player. And the Ravens need him tomorrow at Lambeau Field.

Can Joe Flacco and the Ravens withstand the absence of Ronnie Stanley in Green Bay on Sunday?

If he can't go -- Stanley is in concussion protocol and is listed as "doubtful" for the game -- that puts even more pressure on Joe Flacco to somehow figure out a way to get the Ravens into the win column minus the services of his most reliable offensive tackle.

Tomorrow is no different than any other game the Ravens play. It's going to come down in large part to how Flacco performs.

It always does.

Green Bay is a team without an identity right now, even though they scored what was viewed by most folks -- including the oddsmakers in Vegas -- as an upset last Sunday when they won at Chicago.

One player's absence has completely changed not only their season, but the manner in which everyone looks at their games, regardless of opponent or venue.

With Aaron Rodgers, the Packers were a legitimate threat to win every game. They didn't win them all, of course, but they could beat any team, in any stadium, with Rodgers at the helm.

When he went out in week four with a fractured collarbone, the Packers became the New York Jets.

They could lose to any team from here on in with Brett Hundley at quarterback instead of Rodgers.

Let's hope the Ravens are one of those teams on Sunday.

But Stanley's injury, while it doesn't necessarily level the playing field completely, potentially opens up the bleeding for a Baltimore offense that has been less than stellar even when the former first round pick is available for duty.

If the Ravens offense has been pedestrian with the talented offensive tackle on the field, how bad might they struggle tomorrow if he's sidelined?

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only six seats left on our masters trip next april 2nd


They say it's the toughest ticket in sports, but if you travel with #DMD, you can make the trip to Augusta next April 2nd and check out a Masters practice round.

Our 2018 Masters trip is now on sale, with just 24 seats available for this one-day journey to the greatest golf course -- and tournament -- in America. Note: 18 of the seats have been sold. We only have SIX seats remaining.

It's a long day. But it's a great day, for sure.

And it's an expensive one, too. But we go out of our way to make it as affordable as we can with a 3-payment plan that includes just one deposit now and the remainder of the money due in February and March.

If you're a golf enthusiast and you've never been to the Masters, I can only say this to you: Augusta National is a MUST-DO event on your bucket list. Even if you just go once, you simply MUST attend that golf tournament.

This will be my 7th year taking people from Baltimore to Augusta National for a Masters practice. It's become my own rite of passage every spring. I love guiding folks around the course, sharing stories and seeing everyone enjoy a stroll on the greatest golf course in our country.

We leave from BWI at 6:00 am on Monday, April 2nd. We'll fly to Charlotte and then take a 2-hour bus ride to Augusta, arriving right around 9:00 am or so.

You'll spend all day on the grounds at Augusta National. We provide all of our travelers with a full-day Masters practice round ticket.

#DMD even provides lunch for you!

And we'll roll out of Augusta and head back to Charlotte around 5:30 pm, departing for BWI at 10:00 pm.

You'll be back at work on Tuesday morning. A little weary...but filled with great memories of the Masters and Augusta National.

You can find complete information and pricing details here.

I hope you can join us for a great day of golf on Monday, April 2nd!

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

Hughes Mechanical
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Friday
November 17
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issue 17
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how are the steelers that good?


This one is kind of hard to write. It's not nearly as tough as authoring something of a complimentary nature on the Philadelphia Flyers, but fortunately I don't have to worry about penning that piece.

Unless I decide to write something here titled, An essay on the worst franchise in the history of sports, I won't be focusing on the Flyers anytime soon here at #DMD.

So here's the deal: I'm wondering why the Steelers can get the job done on a regular basis and the Ravens can't?

I doubt very much that they'll beat the Patriots when the chips are down in January, but I watched the Steelers dismantle the Titans last night and I couldn't help but ask time and time again: "Why are the Steelers so much better than the Ravens?"

Is coaching a significant difference between the Steelers and Ravens? Is Mike Tomlin that much better than John Harbaugh?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see any way the Ravens would beat Tennessee 40-17 in Baltimore.

So, why are the Steelers -- now 8-2 -- so much better than the Ravens?

Is it the quarterback?

The offensive coordinator?

Their three quality wide receivers?

A running back who can "only" gain 45 yards on 14 carries in the first half, then finish the game with 130 yards on 21 carries?

How about this? It's all of the above.

But here's the thing about Pittsburgh: Unlike the Patriots, who will beat you into a pulp in Foxborough or on the road, the Steelers are a bit of wild child.

They're a tough out at Heinz Field, as the Titans found out last night. But they're not really all that good on the road. Mostly, they do just enough to win, like last Sunday when they stole a game in Indianapolis that they had little business winning.

But they win.

I'm not completely mystified by their 8-2 mark as opposed to the Ravens and their 4-5 record. Pittsburgh's quarterback, despite his age and wear and tear, is still miles better than our guy in Baltimore. That's the truth. It hurts sometimes.

This isn't meant to be a glorifying piece about the Steelers. I'd like nothing more than to see them get extinguished early in the post-season.

Instead, I'm wondering what it is about them that the Ravens can't replicate?

I don't think Mike Tomlin is light years ahead of John Harbaugh. He's a good coach and all, but is Tomlin that much better than Harbs?

Is Todd Haley an offensive wizard? True, he might be better than Marty Mornhinweg, but is Haley the difference between the two franchises?

I don't see Pittsburgh's defense as anything special at all. They follow the same basic formula as the rest of the team. Their defense is usually reliable at home and sometimes suspect away from Heinz Field.

Honestly, I don't think the Steelers defense is remarkably better than the Ravens.

So, I'll ask again. What is it?

Why are the Steelers 8-2 and cruising to another AFC North title and the Ravens are locked in a playoff battle with the Buffalo Bills?

Yes, I'm aware of the most obvious difference. They have three terrific receivers and a high quality tight end. We don't. I guess that's a piece of the puzzle that I haven't really considered all that much.

The Steelers have Antonio Brown, JuJu Schuster-Smith, Martavis Bryant and Jesse James.

Baltimore has Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman, Jeremy Maclin and whatever tight end isn't hurt or suspended for PED's that week.

A keen football enthusiast would tell me that's probably the biggest edge the Steelers have over the Ravens.

I might agree with that, but there's something about their quarterback that always sticks out.

He's a winner. It's not always pretty. He's certainly capable of throwing in a clunker on any given Sunday.

But Roethlisberger is the knuckleball pitcher that confounds you despite the fact you know what he's throwing.

While Joe Flacco is about as energetic as a jigsaw puzzle, Roethlisberger bounces around week after week and defies common logic. He should be slowing down by now. And he is, actually. Big Ben's on the 16th hole of his career, I'd say, but he's still making birdies when the course suits his eye.

Even with all that tread gone from his tires, there he was last night -- looking like Big Ben circa 2008 -- on three days rest, slicing and dicing the Titans' defense for 55 minutes until Tomlin called off the dogs with his team up by 23 points.

Like virtually everyone else in Baltimore, my stomach turns watching the Steelers win and their fans rejoice.

But as #DMD's David Rosenfeld noted yesterday in his outstanding piece, part of being a "good fan" is looking at the other team(s) and admitting that they do it right.

Somehow, the Steelers seemingly do it right almost every year.

Why can't the Ravens do it, too?

I wish I knew.

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expect big things from this guy in 2018


My dear friend and #DMD surgeon general George McDowell is going to have a complete cow when he reads this one.

I'm turning off my phone for a few hours to save myself from having to read the nasty e-mails and texts.

As we approach the end of the 2017 calendar year and move forward into -- can't believe I'm writing this -- the year 2018, I'm going to author several pieces on "expect big things from him/her in 2018".

Ready to break out in 2018?

Today is the debut of that theme.

I hope George doesn't choke on his morning coffee.

I think Rickie Fowler is going to have a career-changing year in 2018.

George? George? You still with us, my friend?

Someone get George a cold washcloth and throw on Led Zeppelin's Kashmir. We need to revive him, quickly.

Fowler's ready.

And when I say "ready", I mean he's on the verge of doing something really special. As in -- win the Masters. Or a U.S. Open. "Something special" in golf is about one thing: winning a major championship.

Fowler is ready to do that. He's good enough to do that. And I think, in 2018, he's going to do that.

There's nothing about Rickie's golf game that restricts him from winning a major championship. He's won enough times on TOUR and played well enough under the most extreme conditions (majors, Olympics, Ryder and Presidents Cups) to warrant the serious thought that his time has come at Augusta National or any of the other major venues in 2018.

Fowler doesn't really have any sort of significant, major weakness in his game. He's not Colin Montgomerie, who regularly contended for major titles over a decade or more in the 1990's and 2000's but couldn't make a putt that mattered when the game was on the line.

Lee Westwood was one of the game's best ball strikers for a dozen or so years but couldn't chip and putt like a major champion and, sadly, still hasn't captured one of golf's four big events.

Matt Kuchar does everything just fine, but he can't close, as he showed us all in high-definition last summer at the British Open when he allowed Jordan Spieth to run past him in the final hour of Sunday's back nine.

Fowler is better than all three of those players. And that's saying something. Montgomerie's a Hall of Famer, Westwood will get in someday, and Kuchar might as well.

Rickie Fowler will be a World Golf Hall of Fame member. You can count on that.

And I have a funny feeling that 2018 is going to be the year his career really kicks off.

I'm sorry, George.

You're going to need to find a new whipping boy in the world of golf.

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this weekend in
english soccer


Contributed by #DMD's English Premier League Reporter
MATTHEW CARROLL


With the final international break of the year in the rearview mirror and the field of thirty-two teams for the summer’s World Cup in Russia officially set – which will be without world footballing giants such as Italy, Netherlands, and Chile to help ease the sting of the USA missing out – the English Premier League returns to action with a massive showdown in the capitol to kick off Matchday 12 on Saturday morning.

Full focus will be on the league over the next few months with only a handful of teams navigating Champions League responsibilities so be sure to tune in bright and early as the campaign really starts to heat up with every game available live on the NBC family of networks or online at NBC Live Extra.

Saturday, November 18 (all times eastern)

7:30am – Tottenham @ Arsenal – Emirates Stadium, NBC Sports Network

If Arsenal falls at home to Tottenham this Saturday, it might be the beginning of the end for Gunners manager Arsene Wenger.

Tottenham avoided defeat for the second time in as many weeks when Son Heung-Min became the highest-scoring Asian player in Premier League history with his 64th minute strike enough to see Spurs past the desperate Crystal Palace 1-0 in their London Derby. They will kick off the weekend in the biggest capitol derby of them all when they travel across town to visit arch rivals Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium for the North London Derby, with the Gunners still licking their wounds after they became just the next team in a growing line so far this season to be run over by Manchester City in a 3-1 defeat.

Any hopes of mounting a title challenge were effectively put to bed with the defeat as Arsenal find themselves in sixth place in the table and twelve points back of the runaway league leaders. A top four finish will be the new goal although the Gunners, sitting four points back of their weekend opponent and three back of fourth place Chelsea, cannot afford to fall further off the pace against a Spurs side who are enjoying their longest ever unbeaten run against their rivals, having not left empty handed from their last six meetings in the league (W2 D4) and their last three trips to the Emirates Stadium (D3).

10am – Manchester City @ Leicester City – King Power Stadium, NBC Sports Network

The victory over Arsenal made it ten wins from their eleven league outings so far this season for Manchester City (D1), with the thirty-one-point haul and matching goal differential marking the best ever start to a top flight campaign at this stage. They will look to maintain their stranglehold on the top of the table when they travel to the King Power Stadium for a matchup with Leicester City, who for the third-year running shared the points on the road with Stoke City in a 2-2 draw to stay unbeaten in their last five in the league, the last two of which came with new manager Clade Puel at the helm (W2 D3).

With losses in three of their first four league games to open the season (W1) and languishing near the bottom of the table, Leicester City seems to have righted the ship following the dismissal of Craig Shakespeare and the appointment of Puel, although they will face the unenviable task tomorrow of trying to slow down a rampaging City side that, despite dropping two of the last three meetings with the Foxes (W1) including this fixture last season, are unbeaten on the road in the campaign (W5) and have lost only one of their last eight trips to the King Power Stadium (W4 D3).

Sunday, November 19 (all times eastern)

11am – West Ham United @ Watford – Vicarage Road, NBC Sports Network

Following weeks of speculation, West Ham United finally parted ways with manager Slaven Bilic after his side slept walk through the first half in an eventual 4-1 defeat to Liverpool just before the international break. A familiar face has been handed the reigns and will be on the touchline for his 500th Premier League match as manager when David Moyes and the Hammers visit Watford at Vicarage Road for the only game on the Sunday slate and the Hornets still reeling after squandering a two goal second half advantage against the offensively challenged Everton to fall for the third week in a row 3-2.

While a sputtering Watford side may look like a good spot to get his tenure off on the right foot Moyes, eager to shake off his disastrous spell at Manchester United and his relegation while calling the shots at Sunderland just last season, takes over a West Ham side that have managed three points only once in their last thirteen league matches on the road (W1 D6 L6) visiting a Watford side that have dropped only one of their last six in the league between the two (W3 D2) and just one of the last five times they have entertained the Hammers at Vicarage Road across all competitions (W2 D2).

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#dmd comments


mike from catonsville     November 19
While Bucknell is a good team and have played everyone really tough even in losing efforts they are still in the Patriot League which is a notch above the MEAC. It would not have been a "Coppin State" loss of many moons ago but it's never good to lose to a Patriot league team. No knock to those young men and women but truthfully they aren't in the same league. (pun intended). This was a pay for play game that almost cost the Terps as much as they paid to Bucknell to come in to lose. Close to a double loss . Also glad to see the St.Joe grad again play well and was the catalyst in the win.

DELRAY RICK     November 19
Its curtains if the RAVENS lose today. If they use the same BORING CALLS you get the same BORING RESULTS.

English teacher     November 18
So saying you "witnessed" this hole on one is a Fact or an Opinion?? ;)

George     November 18
@Ghost – The #DMD Manual of Usage & Style isn’t issued to mere part-timers. I use the one for National Enquirer writers. It requires “holes-in-one,” because ‘hole’ is the noun being pluralized.

Ghost of JROB     November 18
Is it "hole-in-ones" or "holes-in-one". I say the latter. George will know.

ray ray     November 18
Steve From Pimlico if you dont like the articles and dont like the comments what are you here for, the ads?

Steve from Pimlico     November 18
Screw all this Ricky Fowler and hole in one talk. People are just using this site to write short stories and eventually it seems a novel. Be consise and informative. If golf was this important ,talk radio would pay more attention to it. This site is turning into a country club 19th hole.

J.J.     November 18
@Drew where are your 4 hole in one? Which courses?

DR (the original)     November 18
@Herman not sure, but I do remember specifically that he made one this year at the Players on the 17th hole island green. If you could make one hole-in-one anywhere that would be a good place to do it!

HERMAN     November 18
How many hole-in-ones does Ricky Fowler have?


Fat Frankie     November 18
My hole-in-one story is a long one, so I'm only going to tell one part. My cousin and I were playing in Ocean City. We rounded a turn and there was a pretty young girl is shorts and a t-shirt sitting next to a small table set up on the green of a par-three. It was a "contest" called Million Dollar Hole-In-Oneand the money supposedly went to kidney cancer research. You paid $5, and if you got it on the green you got a sleeve of balls and if you got a hole-in-one you got a trip out to Las Vegas, $1,000 and a chance to play in a tournament out there and one par three was worth $1,000,000. So, to be honest, I thought that I hit through the green, but we couldn't see my ball. So we all went down to the green to look and I went straight for the cup. When I saw my ball at the bottom, I turned to this pretty young girl and said, "Gimme a hug!" She looked at me and went, "eeewwww, No!" True story.

Bob from Hereford     November 18
Should the O's change the dimensions of Camden Yards to make it a legit major league playing field that fair to the pitchers and hitters? I have heard national baseball reporters, current pitchers, and retired pitchers say that they don"think it is fair. Some free agent ptcher may not come to the O's because of the ballpark according to many. This means that the only way to improve the staff is by trade or player development. The asking price for a quality pitcher on trade market is very steep. We have not developed a good pitcher (except Mussina) since the Yards opened. They seem to show pormise in the minors but flame out when they reach the majors. Some have become successful elsewhere after the O's trade or give up on them. Do Camden's dimensions get in their heads or are unable to be successful in a small because of their style, start trying to be too fine with the strike zone and end up with high pitch counts and walks. Camden is 25 years old. Prior to then The O,s developed many pitchers. Is the ballpark a big negative in the development and does iy make it hard to acquire pitchers by free agency? Is the only solution to move the fences back?

George     November 17
@MFC – A few weeks ago, I gave my humble opinion on the pitfalls of ceding one’s own judgment to a computer algorithm that “seems” official [and even calls itself so in its own name]. As is your right, you [obviously] rejected that opinion.

Let’s do an experiment.

Since the inception of the OWGR in 1986, there have been 128 major championships. If, before each of those majors, I had given you the Top Ten golfers on the OWGR just ahead of the tournament, and offered even money that none of the ten would win, would you have accepted or declined the wagers?


mike from catonsville     November 17
@George, the World Golf Rankings are statistically measured and ranked. It has NOTHING to do with hats, social media , followers, hot girlfriends etc. etc. etc. It has EVERYTHING to do with how you play. Statistically he is one of the top players in the world.



Please start picking another topic until RF starts to drop out of the top 25. Then you may have a case.

George     November 17
@Herman -- True. Sorry!

@DF – In the thesis of your piece today, you might just be right. Rickie may break out this year. Hogan floundered around on Tour for the first decade of his career, much like Rickie has floundered around for the first 10 years of his.

My point is – why is there this CONSTANT focus on Fowler, when Nick Watney, Patrick Reed, Ryan Moore, Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Dufner, Jimmy Walker, Henrik Stenson, Bill Haas, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, Jason Day, and Rory McIlroy have all had much more success than Rickie, and when Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, who haven’t been around as long as Fowler but have left him in their dust?

I say it’s because of his attire, looks, commercial frequency, and ability to photo bomb, scene bomb, and social-media bomb, and this constant presence is interpreted (wrongly!) as skill in golf. He’s golf’s equivalent of the Kardashians – famous for being famous.

HERMAN     November 17
@George

Brevity is the soul of wit

Chris     November 17
Hate to say it but @George is approaching "Brien status" with his hatred of Fowler. It is very similar to Brien's constant hatred of Flacco.

DF     November 17
@George --



Never once in my piece did I write that Fowler is "good for the game". That sort of stuff is for the birds. If Rickie Fowler finished 120th on the money list two years in a row he wouldn't be "good for the game". Fowler is popular with people because he is successful on the course. Kids wouldn't that goofy orange hat anymore if he suddenly stopped being successful.



Fowler is an extremely competent player no matter what your crazy eyes tell you. The numbers don't lie. He is a top 10 player in the world.

H     November 17
The NFL team that has given up the least amount of points this season is the Rams who have yielded 162 points over 9 games. The 2000 Ravens gave up 160 points in 16 games. Mind boggling,

George     November 17
@DF, DF, DF . . . . – Didn’t choke on my coffee. I’m not really surprised. I’ve been worried about you for some time.

Your BAPIB indicated you’d go off the literary cliff sometime in this quarter, and now that you’re airborne, I just hope you land softly.

I hear you wrote this drivel while in Pinehurst, which is in North Carolina, and North Carolina’s the state where the legislature has banned the citation of scientific statistics from peer-reviewed articles in any report produced by the state that deals with climate change, sea-level rise, species extinction, and air and water quality.

In a similar way, the pap you delivered today on Fowler is bereft of science yet long on soft-headed and self-serving opinion. You state that Matt Kuchar can’t close, and although you at least have the integrity to not write it clearly, you imply that Fowler CAN close.

Did you have your head in the sand during last year’s FedEx Cup playoffs? We with our eyes open saw Rickie collapse on the last day of an early tournament and blow a final-round lead. We also saw where, a few weeks later, when needing something like a 17th-place finish or better to get to East Lake, your boy stunk up the joint and finished near last.

Don’t let facts get in your way: Fowler has closed four times, Kuchar seven.

I note that you and Alert Commenter “Herman,” who appears in other respects to be both reasonable and intelligent, have begun to parrot the latest tagline spun out by the Fowler sponsor consortium – that he’s “good for the game.” I think they put this line in a couple of frames of each of the legion of commercials Rickie does, and the words become imprinted on your brains, to be trotted out in mindless response to some rational person who tells you that Rickie is a no more than a journeyman.

Rickie wasn’t able to earn his way onto the Ryder Cup team last year, but was a Captain’s Pick, even though he had a losing record and had never won a singles match. One of the rationals was that he was “good in the clubhouse.” I shudder to think what this means, but note that many writers and broadcasters parroted this line, so it too must have been embedded in the Fowler commercials.

In last week’s event, Fowler was a shot behind Kizzire starting the final round. Kizzire landed two right hand leads early in the match, and combined with a Rickie stumble, found himself with a four-shot lead. He then cruised to an easy victory.

I tremendously admire Rickie Fowler’s financial acumen. He has parlayed flashy clothes, long hair, boyish good looks, and a [admittedly pencil-enhanced] mustache into sponsorship deals that exceed by whole-number factors the deals struck by much more successful golfers. But you sadly mistake seeing Rickie in a staggeringly high percentage of the commercials shown during golf tournaments [he was also mercilessly inflicted on us during the World Series] for seeing him in the Winner’s Circle. If you saw Rickie finish second last week against a second-tier field, you’ve seen his highest finish of the 2017-18 season.

We who love #DMD and its otherwise excellent insight and opinion are truly worried about you. Perhaps we should set up an intervention.

Tom J     November 17
Annnnnnnddd yes Brien, the O-Line is a huge problem. Not the only problem but you have to win in the trenches. Do you see the stiffs they are trotting out there at guard..?? These guys shouldn't even be in a NFL roster let alone be starting on one.

HERMAN     November 17
@TimD sums it up in once sentence, excellent.

They have drafted playmaker after playmaker. And took Harrison who we cut from our practice squad and made him a superstar. Like New England they seem to be able to take quality athletes and plug-and-play them into their system, making them into high achievers.

Baltimore has always had what I call the "Ray Chester" problem. The Colts got Ray Chester, all pro, from the Raiders. Under our "system" he stunk it up. We let him go back to the Raiders, he was an all-pro the year he went back.

Jason M     November 17
DF used to talk about pedigree with certain organizations, and an expectation of winning. I think the Stillers have that little something extra that organizations like Montreal, NY Yankees have, where everyone has high expectations. It's lots of littler things all tempered by the concept that we're part of something special that is worth fighting for.

Brian from Towson     November 17
Anyone going to Green Bay? If so, where are you hanging out Saturday night or Sunday morning?

TimD in Timonium     November 17
Was thinking the same thing last night - HOW are the Steelers so good? For starters, they've surrounded Big Ben with play-makers. Brown and Bell are arguably the best at their positions in the NFL.



Drafting prowess? No better example than 2010. With the 194th pick, the Ravens selected OT Ramon Harewood. At 195, the Steelers took WR Antonio Brown. Game over.

DR (the original)     November 17
First of all, all jokes aside, the worst franchise in the history of sports is the Phillies, not the Flyers :)

Yes, in the last 3 seasons, the Steelers are a way better team than the Ravens. The Steelers have Ben, Bell and Brown, the Ravens don't. For the seven years before that, they had the same exact record (72-40). If we were wondering how the Steelers are always so good, they were wondering the same thing.

Fireball Roberts     November 17
The Steelers draft better than the Ravens. I could tell you the name of the Penguins GM but not the Steelers. This mystery man is someone special...lol

unitastoberry     November 17
The Stillers have a HOF qb case closed. Remember when Mike Wallace played there? He has not been heard from since.

I too had no idea Captain Who passed away. Alex Hawkins was a good football player and a wildman about town. He could be seen and heard in many local night spots my late father drove a cab so he knew a lot about him. Lombardi drafted him and cut him imagine him and Max McGee out on the town lol. RIP to a truly unique man who would kill you to win a football game.

Brien Jackson     November 17
Aaaaaaaaand we're still sticking with the idea that the Ravens' O-line is a problem. It's amazing how entrenched falsehoods get with this fanbase.

Kenny G     November 17
Add to the fact the Steelers invested in an Oline and the talent you mentioned at some of the skilled positions came later in the draft - ie the Ravens miss on 1st WR Perriman but the Steelers hit with 3rd, 4th and 6th round selections. What really has Campanaro or Moore done as a similar Raven investment? And this disparity has been there for over a decade (Wallace, Sanders, Brown vs Taylor, Clayton, Perriman).

StevenShea     November 17
The difference between the Steelers and the Ravens is that the Ravens largely have cardboard cutouts for an offensive line. Football has always been first and foremost having our fat guys beat the other teams fat guys. Beyond that it’s all about who’s healthy and that was lost before the first tackle in preseason. The real question is why the Ravens have the most injuries year in and year out. Harbaugh has proven he can win with mediocre talent, but no one can win with no talent.

HERMAN     November 17
Fowler is good for the game. And it's great to see him playing consistently at a high level. What has happened to Bubba? Where is Hunter Mahan these days, it looks like he's fighting to save his card after a few years of brilliant play. Brandt Snedeker appears to have lost focus doing a few too many credit card commercials and dropped off the leader boards. But Ricky has maintained a high level of play even while some close friends dropped back into the second tier. The twenty-somethings watch Ricky on social media at Baker's Bay, they follow him on instagram and all those other sites, watching his antics with fellow tour young guns, and he makes them want to play the game.

And that's great for the sport.

Steve in Hunt Valley     November 17
Stomach turning to read but all very true, DF.



Thanks for an insightful article today.

Brien Jackson     November 17
@Eric



Re: Correa; People have been banging this since at least 2012...and they're not wrong. In fact, the Ravens are a mess with that kind of issue in the defensive front. The big question is whether it's a coaching thing or a drafting/front office thing, and it sure looks like it's at least partly the latter. They've got a glut of defensive tackles on the line, then they take rush specialists like Judon and Smith who are really hand in the dirt guys and push them out to the Jarrett Johnson role, and then the OLBs get slid to the inside. Predictably, their linebacking play has been really bad as a result.



And, incidentally, one thing they might consider for the offseason is cutting Suggs and switching to a 4-3 base.

Brien Jackson     November 17
There was a play in the first half where Roethlisberger took one step and just flipped a back shoulder throw to Brown for a mediumish gain. Nothing fancy, just a short snap-and-go route where the ball gets there as Brown is breaking his route. The announcers immediately start talking about how the Steelers are going to pepper the Titans with plays like that to make them stop blitzing. Now compare that to how the Titans attacked the Ravens two weeks ago, and think about how many times you've seen Flacco throw that kind of quick, accurate timing route.



And there's your answer.

Brien Jackson     November 17
Lol, now we're citing playoff records again. We're gonna stick with lying to ourselves about Flacco forever no matter how bad it gets, aren't we?

eric     November 17
Ravens offered Flacco 100 mil in training camp, 4 game run got him extra 20 but as usual with NFL contracts no player that has signed for 100 mil has ever collected more than 70 mil. Contract gets torn up and player either gets cut or gets a new backloaded deal. I see Correia mom has chimed in ripping Harbaugh and sadly i have to completely agree with her. Why you would draft a guy high to play outside lb and immediately move him inside makes no sense and has had predictable results

Casual observer     November 16
Yea, why can't Ozzie predict the future after the fact, you know, like Brien can....sheesh

George     November 16
Does anyone know why Ben Roethlisberger wears an 82nd Airborne Division patch on the back of his helmet?

Clayton     November 16
I agree with Brien. If something is done and it turns out bad then the only correct thing to do is criticize whoever did the bad thing. Lame excuses are for losers.

Mike From Reisterstown     November 16
@Brien loves TT. Sorry Brien, I have to agree with @Ray Ray. Go look at Flacco's playoff win record leading up to that contract. You would be insane not to sign him. Why would Belichick or any other GM/HC ignore that 5 year run? Can you imagine the blow back in Baltimore if they did not sign him?

Brien Jackson     November 16
@Ray Ray



That's ridiculous. Belichick, for one, would have stayed on whatever number he would offer at the end of the regular season, and wouldn't let four games massively inflate his commitment.

Eric     November 16
So many morons at 105.7....im gueasing either Coleman or other no talent clown Weinmann said that. Terps are loaded but i have zero faith in Turgeon to get the max out of them.

Jason M     November 16
Anyone that talks sports for a living on the air, that says he doesn't want his hometown team to make the playoffs, is a dolt for all the reason DF pointed out, but also because your job will be a lot more interesting, ratings higher if we're playing in January. I stopped listening to sports talk when DF 'left'...it just gives me a headache when ever I hear it. I think it;s hard to do local sports talk 'right', ie. keep it interesting.

HERMAN     November 16
@George

"Captain Who" lived a very colorful life and was quite a character. His book was hilarious, and his stories of working around Baltimore in the off-season take you back to another time. He gained national fame with the whole "That's my story and I'm sticking to it" line that was made into a country song.

Anyone who wants a good read pick up the biography on Alex Hawkins, it's a quick read, but funny.

Ray ray     November 16
And Napoleon should have had a B-52. C'mon Brien! Nobody in the league would have let Flacco get away after the Super Bowl. To even say it is to engage in fantasy.

The truth     November 16
@Brien You just proved my point with your Moore comment: in the NFL, stuff happens. Every game, every season. Thus, all Taylor's stars while in BUF mean nothing (read David's article today on that topic).

I am not arguing Flacco has lived up to his contract, he clearly has not. The two points are at that point in time, you had to pay him (at the market price) and arguing Taylor would have been the way to go is not only revisionist history, it's totally fallible logic.

Your argument is out of the Ken Weiman playbook, which is a subset of the Preston playbook

DR (the original)     November 16
I get the idea that it's a franchise altering mistake, Mile High Miracle or not. The guy has obviously underperformed and is pretty bad now, while at the same time he's taking up way too much $.

But you have to admit...the team taking him in '08 was a franchise altering decision as well, in a good way.

Brien Jackson     November 16
All you really need to know to understand how the Ravens made a franchise altering mistake with Flacco is that they don't even entertain giving Joe the biggest contract in NFL history if Rahim Moore maintains deep coverage.

Brien Jackson     November 16
@The Truth



I'm genuinely curious why people say this. I mean, Taylor has been Buffalo's starter since 2015, and he's had a QBR of 70.3 and 68.4 in the prior two seasons, while Flacco has been 54.2 and 58.4 in 2015-16. Taylor is 27-9 in TDs to INTs, while Flacco is 28-25. Flacco's INT% is twice as high. And Taylor added 1,148 rushing yards in those two seasons. He's clearly been more productive than Flacco, and he's not only been cheaper, but his contract would be much more favorably structured giving the team far more leverage to cut bait and rebuild than they have now (and a team signing him with the non-exclusive tag would have netted two additional high first round draft picks). Instead they're stuck with one of the very worst starting QBs in the entire league for at least another 2-3 seasons.



I get why people worked backwards to defend Flacco in 2011-14 or so, but I don't get why it persists today.

Thursday
November 16
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terps could be the real deal


You can file this under "too soon to tell" if you want, but it's only taken me three games to make a quick assessment of Maryland basketball and it goes like this: The Terps might be really good in 2017-2018.

I'm well aware they started the season by beating up on two weaklings, Stony Brook and UMES, but last night's 79-65 victory over Butler was a step up in class for Mark Turgeon's team and they handled it with relative ease.

I'll let our Terps basketball insider Dale Williams handle all of the heavy lifting for Maryland hoops this season, but I'll chime in occasionally when I see something that really catches my eye. And early on, what I see that's impressive about Maryland is muscle, speed and defense.

Last year's Maryland team wasn't particularly strong and their work on the boards was laughable at times. That will not be the case this season, you can bank on that. Rebounding, as basketball coaches will always say, is about "want to", and the Terps have some guys who are both able AND willing to go up and fight for the ball after it leaves the glass or rim.

Junior guard Anthony Cowan is off to a terrific start for the Terps in 2017-2018. He had 25 points in last night's win over Butler.

The newest sensation in College Park who will bruise some folks this season is Bruno Fernando, the 6'10" freshman from Angola. He's a wrecking ball under the glass.

Fernando is already approaching legend-status at College Park and the season is three games old. OK, maybe that's a stretch. But he's legit. And strong. And he'll block some shots into the 15th row at XFINITY Center this season, watch and see.

I chatted with Dale Williams earlier this week about Maryland hoops and mentioned to him that Dion Wiley's return after missing 2016-2017 with a knee injury would be a major asset for Turgeon and Company. "He might only average 6 or 7 points per-game for the year, but there will be some nights when he scores in double figures and makes a difference," I remarked.

Right on cue, Wiley chipped in with 11 last night in the win over Butler. He's solid defensively, owns good shooting form, and is just one of those kids you're glad to have on the team because he does everything well. He's not an All-American, but he's a nice player.

I won't go into individual player breakdowns -- Dale did a nice job of that in his preview on Tuesday -- but Maryland has a number of high quality kids. Cowan (25 points last night), Jackson and Huerter will all benefit from the significant minutes they played as freshmen a year ago. They're the backbone of the program, even with the newcomers and transfers who have arrived to help shape the team into, dare we say, a legit Big Ten title contender?

Something Dale wrote in his Terps preview stuck with me last night during the win over Butler. Turgeon has a number of different line-up options at his disposal with this edition of Maryland basketball.

He has a "big group", a "zone-breaking" unit and a smaller, "ball control" fivesome if he wants to use speed and quickness in transition.

I see this Maryland team as one that will be difficult to defend for 40 minutes. They can come at you in a variety of ways.

I know it's only three games. The first two games were six furlongs and last night's affair was a mile and a quarter. There are bigger races on the schedule for the Terrapins down the line.

But they simply look different than Maryland teams of the last few years.

This squad comes across to me as hard-nosed, mean and energetic, but not in a reckless kind of way. They look to me like a team that won't mind bumping and bruising you while they dunk, shoot and score points in droves at the same time.

I'm not sure I see a true weakness in this Maryland team, but the big games and the bright lights will tell me if I'm right on that one.

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more and more, ravens have no excuse for missing the playoffs


With the Buffalo Bills all but giving up on the season yesterday with the benching of Tyrod Taylor, the path to the playoffs is potentially even more inviting for the Ravens now as they prepare for Sunday's showdown in Green Bay.

That's the good news.

The bad news?

If the Ravens can't stumble-and-bumble their way into the post-season now, with others in the AFC stubbing their toes and the schedule playing out favorably for John Harbaugh's team, then it's almost a certainty front-office heads will roll in January.

If the Ravens fail to make the playoffs this season, could that be the final straw for general manager Ozzie Newsome in Charm City?

Barring someone coming from back of the pack and winning nearly all of their games from here on in, there are essentially five AFC teams fighting for the two wild card spots.

The Ravens are 4-5 but have a cakewalk schedule (by NFL standards) with Houston, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Cincinnati looking like "sure wins", plus a home game against Detroit and a road affair at Green Bay this Sunday that will come with the Packers using some guy named Brett Hundley at quarterback.

If the Ravens can't finish the season at 9-7 -- at the worst -- they don't deserve to make the playoffs.

Buffalo is 5-4 but you'd think they were 3-6 based on their panic move yesterday, where they kicked Tyrod Taylor to the curb in favor of Nathan Peterman. I know Taylor isn't really any good, but who on earth is Nathan Peterman? And why play him now, with the playoffs still attainable?

There's Oakland (also 4-5) and then the AFC South duo of Tennessee and Jacksonville, both of whom are 6-3. It stands to reason one of them will likely finish at least 9-7 and be good enough for a wild card spot while the other will win the division outright.

So, really, while there are five teams in the hunt, only four are legitimately involved in the wild card race, as either the Titans or Jaguars will get in on their own as the division winner.

Maybe I'm reading the tea leaves wrong, but I think the Ravens have a great shot at making the post-season.

And yes, I do realize the Ravens aren't really all that good. At the very least, that's what their current record suggests, anyway.

But the season is 16 games long for a reason.

By the very nature of the league itself, you play games against really good teams, good teams, and bad teams.

Four of their five losses have come against teams with a combined record of 26-10. True, their wins have been over Miami (stinks), Cincinnati (stinks), Cleveland (stinks) and Oakland (played without their starting quarterback), but if you look at the losses the Ravens have absorbed this season, only the loss to the Bears at home could truly be called "unexpected".

And now the schedule plays out in their favor, with the Ravens likely favored in every game for the remainder of the season with the exception of the December 10 visit to Heinz Field.

I heard a local sports talk radio host earlier this week whining about the Ravens making the post-season. "Do we really want to see them get in the playoffs at 9-7?," he asked his audience. "All they're going to do is get clobbered in the first round of the playoffs."

It shocks me sometimes to listen to guys who know sports, yet say incredibly stupid stuff like that.

Of course you want the team to make the playoffs. For starters, you can't win the Super Bowl if you don't make the playoffs. Second, what if the team you're set to play in the first round of the post-season loses their starting quarterback in the third quarter of the final game of the regular season?

Just pre-supposing you're going to lose in the playoffs because you finish 9-7 and get the 6th seed is awfully unoriginal.

Making the playoffs is critical, particularly for this edition of the Ravens. It's very important for John Harbaugh's future in Baltimore. And, perhaps, Ozzie Newsome's as well.

And with the Bills looking like they're in meltdown mode and the Raiders hanging on by a thread, the Ravens have a legit chance to make the post-season, even though their current 4-5 record might suggest otherwise.

Teams play 16 games for a reason. The schedule has a way of balancing out over the course of four months.

One thing for sure: If this Ravens team can't win nine or ten games, changes won't be surprising -- or unjustified.

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thursday sports with David Rosenfeld

DAVID ROSENFELD is a former sports publicist who still keeps his eye on the game. Looking at the game, the news or the players on an in-depth level is what he likes to do. Follow his work here at #DMD every Thursday, brought to you by Glory Days Grill.


The football coach at my alma mater while I was in college was a prince of a man named Tom Gilburg. If you’re from the generation before mine, you probably remember him as the punter, and a backup tackle, for the Baltimore Colts of the early 1960s.

I’ve had a few nicknames in my 44 years. It was Coach Gilburg that gave me my favorite one.

My (older) brother’s best friends, also my friends, called me “Youngster,” which they still do.

A few people along the way have called me “Rosy,” which I’ve never really liked.

Coach Gilburg? He called me “Stats.”

I did the statistics for his games in college. That started with pencil and paper, numbers and charts that had to be compiled into hand-written boxscore forms at game’s end. Eventually, we used one of the earliest computer programs to do the job, though it had plenty of bugs, so we still did it by hand too just in case.

Coach Gilburg retired 15 years ago. If I saw him today, I’d thank him again for honoring me on Senior Day like I was one of his players.

And I’d tell him he could still call me “Stats”.

In 2017, doing the stats means entering numbers and codes on a laptop into one of the various software programs designed by StatCrew, a company that pretty much holds a monopoly on statistics in the collegiate sports market.

Here’s an example of what typical entry might look like, for basketball: J 12 RD 11 T 11 S 14 D 12 A 14

If you’re wondering, that translates to: jumper by #12, defensive rebound by #11, turnover by #11, steal by #14, dunk by #12, assist by #14.

And if you’re wondering, no, the entry person isn’t by him/herself in this endeavor. He or she has at least one person sitting adjacent, assisting as the “caller” of the plays as they happen. And yes, you can get paid for doing this. A little bit anyway.

The easiest sport for which to enter stats is soccer, in which several minutes can elapse with no statistics at all. The hardest is volleyball, which can sometimes feature 15 lines of code on a single play before a point is scored. In a loud gym, the caller can lose his or her voice by the end of the match.

The outputs from all those keystrokes are available live, or nearly live, as everybody with a smartphone and the MLB.com At Bat app can attest. Now that’s something we didn’t have back in college…

This is busy time of year for stats people; I suppose that’s what made me think about all this. Since I assume you’re not interested in my Google calendar, however, maybe you’ll be more interested in what doing the stats for all these years does to a person, besides give him a nickname.

Mainly, it allows you to watch sporting events with a certain lack of emotion, in a good way.

Sure, somebody wins and somebody loses, but that’s immaterial to the job, besides getting the score right. The refs make bad calls and good ones, but it’s your job to record them either way. The intensity of the game surrounds you, and you feel it sometimes, but it can’t overwhelm you.

Honestly, I recommend it.

We spend a lot of our time yelling and screaming at games, but most of the time nobody is listening.

That can be cathartic, I guess, but it just as easily can put you in therapy. Sure, it’s powerful when 70,000 people seemingly boo in unison when the Ravens leave the field at halftime with 14 total yards, but I’m not sure that affects the game when the third quarter starts.

We spend a lot of our time analyzing the games, at this website and a host of other places. Some of our analysis is reasoned and smart, some of it is silly and pointless. But none of it can explain the vagaries of the game.

One day, Dylan Bundy dominates the Mariners in a complete game one-hit shutout where the only hit is a bunt. The next time out, he doesn’t make it out of the fifth inning.

We spend a lot of time being fans, but we forget sometimes that we should be observers too.

By the way, doing the stats, ironically, doesn’t make you think of the game as being all about statistics.

At games, I often spend a couple minutes glancing at the postgame boxscore, and nine times out of ten it’s unremarkable. A couple times a year, the guy who averages 13 points per game drops 35 with eight three-pointers, or the tailback who’s never carried the ball more than seven times gets it 24 times and averages six yards per carry.

Most of the time, though, there’s nothing about the stats that really stands out.

The cliché says that the statistics lie, but I’d put it a different way: the statistics don’t show the narrative of the game.

There are storylines throughout a game that can’t be recorded by stats, and you’re not a good sports fan if you don’t realize that how someone played, good or bad, isn’t always noticeable by looking at their statistics.

I also think you’re not a good sports fan if you can’t be impartial, at least on some level.

That’s probably the most important lesson you can learn doing the stats.

Often, that involves appreciating your opponent. I was at Maryland’s last home game against Duke as a member of the ACC, back in February 2013, a game that Maryland won.

The Terps looked like they’d win the game handily with a few minutes left, but Seth Curry, Steph’s brother, kept making ridiculous play after ridiculous play for Duke. I turned to my own brother and yelled “that guy is a killer!” and I did it with total appreciation.

Impartiality is also about recognition — that the umpire isn’t against you, that the broadcasters don’t hate your team, that the other team isn’t cheating, no more than your team is anyway. When you get rid of all of that, you become a better observer, and a better fan.

What happened back in college with Coach Gilburg’s team is ancient history — the spread offense wasn’t even around yet, and we didn’t even have email addresses until my sophomore year. Sometimes it seems like yesterday, and other days it seems like an entirely different world, which it is.

I learned something about sports back then, sitting up in a tiny press box on perfect fall days. The game is what matters, not the messy stuff surrounding the game. It’s been a privilege to help record some of those games for posterity.

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only six seats left on our masters trip next april 2nd


They say it's the toughest ticket in sports, but if you travel with #DMD, you can make the trip to Augusta next April 2nd and check out a Masters practice round.

Our 2018 Masters trip is now on sale, with just 24 seats available for this one-day journey to the greatest golf course -- and tournament -- in America. Note: 18 of the seats have been sold. We only have SIX seats remaining.

It's a long day. But it's a great day, for sure.

And it's an expensive one, too. But we go out of our way to make it as affordable as we can with a 3-payment plan that includes just one deposit now and the remainder of the money due in February and March.

If you're a golf enthusiast and you've never been to the Masters, I can only say this to you: Augusta National is a MUST-DO event on your bucket list. Even if you just go once, you simply MUST attend that golf tournament.

This will be my 7th year taking people from Baltimore to Augusta National for a Masters practice. It's become my own rite of passage every spring. I love guiding folks around the course, sharing stories and seeing everyone enjoy a stroll on the greatest golf course in our country.

We leave from BWI at 6:00 am on Monday, April 2nd. We'll fly to Charlotte and then take a 2-hour bus ride to Augusta, arriving right around 9:00 am or so.

You'll spend all day on the grounds at Augusta National. We provide all of our travelers with a full-day Masters practice round ticket.

#DMD even provides lunch for you!

And we'll roll out of Augusta and head back to Charlotte around 5:30 pm, departing for BWI at 10:00 pm.

You'll be back at work on Tuesday morning. A little weary...but filled with great memories of the Masters and Augusta National.

You can find complete information and pricing details here.

I hope you can join us for a great day of golf on Monday, April 2nd!

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me: drew@drewsmorningdish.com



breakfast bytes

College football: Terps hang tough in Lansing, but fall to Michigan State, 17-7.

College hoops: Maryland rebounds from 15-point halftime deficit to nip visiting Bucknell, 80-78.

Ovechkin returns after puck to the face, Caps hang on to beat Minnesota in D.C., 3-1.

PGA Tour: Austin Cook opens up 3-shot lead in search of first TOUR win at RSM Classic in Georgia.