Friday
February 3, 2023
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#3084


friday stuff


There's "dog days" in sports and then there's what we have right now, "the super-duper-dog-days."

You know, that period between the Super Bowl and Opening Day...with only a little bit of college hoops sprinkled in and a few important-but-not-major golf tournaments on the docket.

Yes, I know the Super Bowl is next weekend, but you know what I mean. We haven't even reached Super Bowl week, yet, and we're already "Mahomes'd out" and "Kelce'd out".


If only the Ravens would hire an offensive coordinator so we could all start telling them what a bad choice he was, right?

For the record, I have to assume they're waiting on the Eric Bieniemy interview to take place, either to fulfill whatever league protocol needs to be checked off or because they really think Bieniemy might take a lateral'ish move to Baltimore after the Chiefs beat the Eagles in next Sunday's Super Bowl. My guess? I'd still say James Urban is the favorite for the position.


Even though the Orioles make it easier to think those Nashville rumors might be true, there's really nothing else to talk about or write about as it relates to the lease issue they're dealing with.

For the record, we know these two things: The Orioles are not moving to Nashville. They're just not. They'd never get the 24 votes they need from MLB owners to trigger the move, mostly because the majority of MLB owners aren't fond in the least of the family that currently owns the franchise in Baltimore. They can't even get the All Star Game back in Baltimore because Peter Angelos once backed the players in a labor strife situation. You think they're finding 24 owners to allow them to move to Nashville? Zero chance. And in the end, we all know why they're doing what they're doing with the lease. They want the best possible value for their franchise when they sell it. Nothing more. Nothing less.


Ravens GM Eric DeCosta has a lot on his plate in the next two months, figuring out what to do with Lamar and the draft in late April.

We could spend these days in early February talking about the Ravens draft in April, but we can't even really do that right now because no one knows who the quarterback is going to be in Baltimore in 2023.

For the record, I don't think the Ravens would draft a quarterback right away if it turns out that Lamar is gone in 2023. I think they'd go the route of a short-term, established veteran and use their plethora of picks in a Lamar trade to beef up their wide receiver and secondary positions. The Ravens are not interested in a "rebuild" whatsoever. They'd lure a veteran free agent QB to Baltimore and try to improve the rest of their roster enough to compete with the Bengals, Bills, Chiefs, etc. in 2023.


We could take a detour here at #DMD and write about the Wizards and their NBA campaign, but I'm not sure there are more than 150 people in Baltimore who regularly and ardently follow Washington's NBA team. If anyone out there wants to be our "Wizards analyst", the floor most certainly is yours, my friend.

For the record, I have no idea what the Wizards record even is. Without the aid of Google or the standings (yet), I'll hazard a guess and say they're 22-30. I usually attend one Wizards home game every season. Last year, I went down to DC and watched them lose a 30-point halftime lead to the Clippers. I haven't made it down there yet in 2023. Oh, wow, as I check the standings, I discover the Wizards are 24-26 and have won, get this, six straight games! So, there you go.


We could definitely use the "super duper dog days" to bring you up to speed on the Capitals and their progress, or Ovi's chase for Gretzky's goal scoring record, but as Stats Nerd pointed out recently, they pretty much are what their record says they are. They don't do anything great but they're not awful in anything, either. The problem, this year, is the Eastern Conference is locked and loaded with a bunch of really good teams. And unless the Caps do something out-of-the-ordinary at the trade deadline (March 3), they're not going to be able beat Boston, Carolina, Tampa Bay or Toronto in a 7-game series in April or May.

For the record, I'm still unsure if the Caps make the playoffs this season. Let's put it this way: I wouldn't bet on them making it. It's not because they're "bad", but there are just so many teams like the Caps in the conference -- Buffalo, Pittsburgh, the Rangers, even the Panthers are decent enough to go on a run and bump some teams aside. If they can stay healthy, that definitely helps Washington's post-season hopes. I know that's asking a lot, but if the likes of Backstrom and Wilson stay in the lineup and they keep Ovi, Oshie and Kuznestov healthy, things are looking up. I still think goaltending is a suspect area for them overall, but Kuemper (and Lindgren, too) has displayed the ability to play really, really well for a week or two at a time, which is precisely what you need in April and May.


We could take a day or two here during these "super duper dog days" to highlight the off-season "lift off" of the Orioles. You know, where we all parse through the quality free agents they signed over the winter in an attempt to overtake the Yankees and Blue Jays in the American League East. That "lift off".

For the record, I think the Orioles did, A) just fine this winter and, B) precisely what I assumed they would do all along. I think the Adam Frazier signing was an excellent idea. He's a significant upgrade over Rougned Odor. I realize they didn't add much quality starting pitching, but they won 83 games a year ago and their starting pitching didn't remind anyone of the mid 90's Atlanta Braves. They basically swapped out Jordan Lyles for Kyle Gibson. The addition of Cole Irvin from Oakland could be a solid "under the radar screen" move, too. I know Vegas has them at 75 wins in 2023 and I think, right now, that's a complete steal. Borrow every nickel you can from your Aunt Betty and Uncle Ron and put it on the "over" 75 wins for the O's. And thank me in September.


Any fist pumps left for Tiger or have we seen the last of the G.O.A.T. celebrating a PGA Tour victory?

This is usually right around the time golf gets interesting, as the ramp-up to Augusta National and the Masters begins. We could write about Tiger Woods and his ongoing quest to become golf's all-time winningest player by capturing his 83rd career victory or his 16th career major title, but there's no reason to believe Woods is playing anytime soon.

For the record, Woods is probably 50-50 to open his 2023 campaign in a couple of weeks (February 16) at the tournament he hosts in Los Angeles, the Genesis Invitational. It would make sense, if he's healthy, for Tiger to show up there and tee it up in one of the better fields of the first third of the PGA Tour season. If he doesn't play there, Tiger could always head up to Orlando from his Jupiter, Florida home and play the Bay Hill Invitational, which starts March 2nd. The guess here is Woods plays 8 events in 2023, including the four majors. That doesn't seem like the kind of schedule you can keep and expect to win on the PGA Tour. But he is Tiger Woods...and therefore, anything could happen.


We could spend yet another day talking about Lamar's contract situation and the whole "could he have played late in the season?" story line that everyone chased in early January when Jackson was on the sidelines and Tyler Huntley was fumbling away a chance to play the Chiefs in the second round of the AFC playoffs.

For the record, there's nothing else left to say about Lamar. I'm exhausted with it. You're exhausted with it. My guess? The Ravens are exhausted with it as well. We all know what's in store for the Ravens and Lamar. They're not going to agree on a deal with him, mainly because the QB probably won't admit missing December in each of the last two seasons has diminished his value to a certain degree. So, failing a new contract, the Ravens are going to franchise him and use the "exclusive" tag so Jackson can't negotiate anywhere else but Baltimore. From there? That's where the fun begins. Now, at that point, we might have something to talk about in mid-March.


We could write about Maryland's solid first season under Kevin Willard, but we all know what's happened in college basketball these days. The only thing that matters is what you do in the NCAA tournament. To wit, detractors of Willard point to his 1-5 record in March Madness as their reason for not liking the hire of the former Seton Hall coach. Forget how many games he won there overall...who cares about that? Just win in March, baby. So we could prattle on about Maryland's recent home wins over Wisconsin, Nebraska and Indiana and how the Terps appear to be one of the better Big Ten teams when they're playing in College Park, but, alas, none of that matters right now. The only thing that matters is March...Madness.

For the record, I think Maryland gets in the tournament and probably finds themselves as a five or six seed, depending, of course, on what they do in the Big Ten tourney. I don't see the Terps as one of the best 16 teams in the country (seeds 1-4), but I do think, by the time March rolls around, they could be one of the best 20-25 teams. They do have four interesting conference games remaining that will probably determine their seeding fate; Feb. 7 at Michigan State, Feb. 16 home vs. Purdue, Feb. 26 home vs. Northwestern, March 1 at Ohio State. A 3-1 mark in those four games could be huge for Willard and the Terps.


So if you're wondering why we don't spend a lot of time writing about the offensive coordinator search, the Orioles moving to Nashville, the Ravens draft, the Wizards and the NBA, Tiger and his various "quests", Ovi's chase of The Great One and the Caps chances for a surprising spring, the Orioles off-season "lift off", Lamar's contract or Kevin Willard's first season in College Park...now you know why.

But you, on the other hand, might have a lot to say about it all. And you can, in the Comments section below.


Day one is in the books out in the Monterey Penisula and Hank Lebioda is your overnight first-round leader of the AT&T Pebble Beach pro-am at 8-under par. Lebioda carved out his round of 63 at Monterey Penisula GC yesterday. Players rotate between Spyglass Hill, Pebble Beach and Monterey Penisula GC over the first three days of the event, then play Pebble Beach exclusively on Sunday for the final round.

Here's our four "win-bet" players fared on Thursday in their opening rounds.

Defending champion Tom Hoge shot an opening round 1-under par 71 at Pebble Beach. That leaves him with a lot of work to do over the next 36 holes. Chad Ramey turned in the best score yesterday at Pebble with a 7-under round of 65.

Jordan Spieth matched Hoge's score of 1-under, 71, but he did it at Spyglass Hill. Spyglass routinely plays the toughest of the three venues out there. Keith Mitchell's 5-under 67 was the best score at Spyglass yesterday.

Seamus Power shot an even-par round of 72 at Spyglass Hill on Thursday.

And Matthew NeSmith posted 3-under 69 at Pebble Beach in yesterday's opening round.

So...none of our four are in terrible shape after round one, particularly given that none of them played Monterey Penisula, where 8 of the lowest 12 scores were shot in round one.

But with rainy weather expected today and tomorrow in the Pebble Beach area, a solid first-round might loom critical by the weekend.

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faith in sports


Today's Faith in Sports video is a few years old, and it's short, but it's awesome in its simplicity. In a sport where the spotlight shines on the players for 6-7 months out of the year, you'll see a number of elite, big name NBA stars take a second or two to spotlight something else at the league's annual awards event.

You'll see and hear players give glory to God for the skills and accomplishments. On a night when the actual event is meant to shine a light on what the players did on the court, they direct the light off of them and on God, instead. It's only a couple of minutes long, but this is an awesome edition of "Faith in Sports".

As always, we thank our friends at Freestate Electrical for their continued support of "Faith in Sports".


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#dmd comments








larry     February 03
Duke coach is making a stink and blaming "the world" for that mix up?? If the players didn't notice after one or two possessions, well not sure what to say there. That Duke team must stink if it took 20 minutes of play to realize they had the wrong ball.

hank     February 03
Hard to decide who is the bigger curmudgeon these days, @MFC or @UTB. @UTB, we are from the same generation, and I used to b*tch and moan about a lot of the stuff that you do as well, then finally decided WTH am I doing? We are on the back 9 brother, find things that you enjoy, that make you happy, and focus on those things. Leave all the bellyaching to the young twitter dopes who think they know everything! None of them know even 20% of what us old farts know. God bless brother!

Unitastoberry     February 03
Thanks CIK. Forgot about sleeve ball Al Davis. Perhaps it's time for a MLB owner to challenge the league on franchise relocation? Maybe Fredo is working with Hyman Roth on that? Lol

Ken     February 03
Five predictions from Drew's lead article today.



1. Ravens sign Lamar to 3 year $140 million deal that's all guaranteed.

2. Canales of Seattle is the new O.C.

3. Caps make playoffs lose in first round to Carolina.

4. Tiger wins a tournament this year but not a major and then retires.

5. Terps are a 4 seed in NCAA tourney and lose in 2nd round.

Joe     February 03
The Wizards are wildly inconsistent this year, going 3-14 during one stretch along with a 4, a 5, and a 6 game winning streak. They are a better team than last year, as Kristaps Porzingis has been relatively injury free and Bradley Beal has actually started distributing the basketball. Kyle Kuzma is a legit scorer, but also a pending free agent so he could possibly be traded by next week's deadline. They did trade Rui Hachimura two weeks ago to the Lakers, who was a solid player but literally doesn't pass the ball, averaging less than an assist per game in over 20 minutes a game (which is hard to do).



I have been a fan since the Baltimore Bullet days, and miss the success of Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes ...

CIK     February 03
@David R

The fact that nobody could immediately feel the difference in the ball is puzzling. My guess is they were using the correct ball. As soon as you play with a women’s ball, you realize it’s much easier to handle and shoot.

CIK     February 03
@U2B

I am sure the NFL has the same language in the owners contracts. The problem is that Al Davis challenged that and beat the NFL in court. So there is precedent to move and not have to get “approval”.

David Rosenfeld     February 03
Wanted to comment about the first thing in the Breakfast Bytes. The Duke coach says that "this would never happen in a men's game." I've actually seen it happen, the teams realized after a minute that they were using a women's ball, and the ball was switched. She said cryptically that "you can figure out who the people are" that failed in this situation. Can you? It could have been a variety of things...like, there is an entire rack of balls for warmups, were they all women's balls and did this get put into the rack by accident? The person who brings the rack out onto the court might be a 19-year-old team manager or a random facilities person. I've never seen a game where the refs don't check the ball before the game. They didn't notice? Seems a bit odd, and something to kind of laugh about in retrospect instead of making a federal case about.

TimD in Timonium     February 03
Regular updates & news about The Wiz? Yawn. Pass.



I'm not an NBA guy, but I have been watching LeBron play lately. Averaging 30 a night and is a week away from becoming the all-time NBA scoring leader. Amazing.



Orioles. Caps. College lax. (Almost) March Madness. Plenty of good stuff to see / talk about.




MFC     February 03
Dog days, you could be a Tar Heel fan and watch the #1 ranked team (first week) fall out of the top 25 and "may" not get an NCAA bid. The NIL "sponsors" want their money back. Not to worry as Bacot rides around Chapel Hill in his Carolina Blue Audi Q8. Also, an interesting article in the NY Times about the NIL and how it's siphoning off $$$ that used to go directly into the general funds of athletic programs. And how about Alabama football where a d-back wanted $800,000 to play there and Nick said, "this may not be the right school for you".But his QB got a million, it pays to be an offensive player, especially QB.



Lady Terps got beat in IOWA last night as this kid Clark goes off for 42, she is a player. Game ended after 11, how are those 9 AM classes going today?



I'm so sick and tired of these basketball officials going to the replay for everything. Dragging the games down. I know it's important to get the call right but it's really getting out of hand.

Unitastoberry     February 03
So NFL teams can move whenever and MLB teams have to get the other owners approval. That's interesting. What's also interesting is that most MLB owners hate Angelos because he backed a union work stoppage but he's not anything about paying players top money since the Albert Belle fiasco. He's a hypocrite. They ruined baseball for me and others in my age group during the prime of my life in Baltimore. This nucleus of draft picks now will end up like the mid 90s and mid 2010s nucleus. Sold off unless there's a new owner.

Karl     February 03
Cleveland has 3 teams, Philly , Washington, but yet this town barely can sustain NFL and MLB and complain that UMD doesnt market here….bottom 5 in attendance for MLB- a wonder why any business owner would not move to Nashville- and NFL didnt want to be here….if attendance to games falter ….will their reasoning be true….at least we have the Ironbirds and Ferrous!

lou@palo alto     February 02
Ah, Steve--# 32 Browns, 19 Colts-livin the dream!!!

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Comparing players from different eras is not feasible .Jim Brown from the 1960s is considered by many to be the greatest running back of all time,; however he never faced linebackers with 4.5 speed .His cutback style against the grain like they did in those days doesn't fly in today's game

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
@U2B- I was 6 when Johnny U took his last snap on 33rd street so I never got to see him play. I would have liked to. But you and @Lou are correct, it is apples to peaches when comparing the Brady football era with the Johnny U football era. What I don't think can be argued very far is the statement, they both reigned as best of their time.

MFC     February 02
Bob S, I think "the Stallion" passed away, "bingo baby". Loved his spots on local tv in OC. He was the best. (If he passed, which I think he did, hope I'm wrong)



SUCH, I think there's a lot of "free" money around. Given the gambling and the future cannabis revenue. That's why no taxes raised in state of state speech. I think that's where the piggy bank is. I'm fine on the expenditure if it keeps the O's in town.

Such     February 02
I'm beginning to have serious doubts about this Angelos fella who has taken unilateral control of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball Club.

I'm not an English professor, so I had to look up "paradigm", which it turns out is defined as "a typical example or pattern of something; a model". I also had to re-read his quote a few times to try and deconstruct all of the PR farm byproduct contained therein.

I'm not entirely sure how a guy who has been Governor of the state for less than a month has "the vision and commitment" to revitalize Downtown Baltimore by pumping a half a billion dollars into a baseball park, but I'm fairly certain I could do a lot of good with that kind of public money too. Call me a cynic while you get off my lawn.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't get the warm and fuzzies from Angelos fils. He strikes me as entitled and condescending. At least his old man was a civic benefactor who actually spent his time in the city. This guy will be laughing all the way to the bank in Nashville with his loot.

The sooner the organization is sold, the better. I realize what that's contingent upon, and I'm not rooting for it, but it will be a better day for this team and its fans when a new ownership group is running things.

Unitastoberry     February 02
Unitas played in 5 title games. He lost 2 won 3. In SB 3 he was about 55% came off the bench(Throwing arm elbow Tendonitis) for Morrall halfway in the 3rd quarter moved the team and threw an interception in the end zone. His 40239 passing yards from 1955-1973 is equivelent to 80000-90000 today. 3 time MVP. I never liked Brady until he got old. He was a stud stat wise and championship wise. Yes he did benefit from numerous rule changes, longer seasons,better surgical techniques, year round training, and huge mega million dollar deals. Unitas has none of that. After his torn up and civil war style knee surgery he started to go south along with a torn achilles, and nagging tendonitits and no doubt arthritis. The man was beaten to a pulp. But I have to say those 7 rings Brady has along with the stats and MVPs makes him the goat. But hear this youngsters. Unitas is still the best pro QB Baltimore has ever had and his last snap on 33rd street was in 1972. Half a century ago.

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
Because he played on the Patriots, anytime they played the Ravens I wanted to see Brady getting up after each play looking through his ear hole. But at the tail of his career there and especially with TB, I came to appreciate his level of performance. It may not be in the category of Cal's consecutive game streak and or Cy Young's 511 wins but it's quite remarkable what he's done and I just don't see another QB winning 7 SBs and also breaking his records for passing yards and TD passes.

Speaking of Super Bowl? I'm sure you all heard of the ticket prices to attend this year. I really enjoy attending a couple Ravens games per year and obviously root hard for them to win but there is no way I'm ever paying that type of money for a ticket... plus airfare, hotel, food, drinks. For a football game? No chance. Well, unless I win the mega-millions. Like I said, no chance.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     February 02
Drew, it's great to see you bringing Bobby Vermillion and "Endless Golf" on at DMD!

Now all you need to do is get Bobby's old partner "The Stallion" on board for his gambling picks!

lou@palo alto     February 02
there is no comparing the modern QB position to Johnny U: can't hit the QB or receiver, OL w different rules, 12 games per yr & call your own plays, too many teams--fyi

larry     February 02
A for profit business being all about the money, say it ain't so! Why in the world would the Orioles, or the Ravens, want only to be "a good citizen"? Newsflash, they are business entities, NOT citizens!

@MFC is correct too. The city needs to revitalize inner harbor back into the crown jewel it used to be, and with Port Covington development, the whole downtown area, including Canton, Fells Point, Fed Hill, etc could generate an insane amount of economic activity. But, you have to make the city safe. At least that part of the city.

Is this mayor up for that? He wants to remember his roots and all, but part of making the city safe is doing things his political party likes to be "outraged" about. Do they have the stones to crack down on things past administrations seemingly turned a blind eye to? And face the wrath of the "outrage for profit" crowd? I sure hope so, cause Baltimore could certainly use an economic revitalization and all the jobs that comes with. What better way to help your impoverished citizens?

Delray Rick     February 02
BRADY the BABE RUTH of football

Jason M     February 02
Brady was the best I ever got to watch, and like #52, I feel privileged that we got to watch one of the all time greats do his thing. I used to hate him for being such a Raven Killer, but hell after awhile you need to give credit where credit is due, and I have probably spent the last decade of his career as an admirer. The stats on his durability are a great and not often cited insight - no missed games for injury since 2008 - Brady is Iron Man.



I think you'll see big crowds at Fan Fest this weekend. I am bullish on the future of the city, 3 James Beard nominated restaurants, Broadway productions at the Hippo, MLB at the Yard and NFL across the way. You're not getting that in Westminster, Columbia or Frederick, as safe as those places are.

MFC     February 02
We have a complex 2 blocks away called the inner harbor, which is supposed to have a major makeover. Port Covington is advancing rapidly, lets take advantage of that. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area. What we need is a safe city. Let's solve that. No squeegee "kids", lots of police presence to feel safe walking the city. People will go downtown if they feel safe.

And let's get the players to be involved in the city. A major outreach program would do miracles and not just with the Oriole Bird.

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Call me cynical but this new Camden Yard complex will be finished when the rebuilt Pimlico Race Course is completed.

Our refurbished downtown arena is going to still be an outdated facility.

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 02
Im surprised idiots online continue to fall for the Os moving nonsense. The Sun perfectly outlined why it behooves the Os not to sign a 5 yr lease causing unfavorable provisions to roll over, plus the 600 mil coming their way let alone the 3 or 4 billion sale price in 2 or 3 years or the fact that MLB has blocked SF, Oak, TB and everybody else thats tried to move without permission the last 70 years. Os are proving the old saying youll never go broke betting on the American public's gullibility.

Vince     February 01
Brady done?....

Or is his movie tanking and this is a ploy to get folks in the theater?

Stats Nerd     February 01
@Howard everything I have heard seems to indicate Exclusive. The consensus seems to be that he is worth more than simply the 2 1sts that non-exclusive carries with it. Of course they could use non-exclusive and still trade him for more than the 2 firsts but it's maybe not as clean

Howard     February 01
Which franchise tag for Lamar? I would favor the non-exclusive tag. If he signs a reasonable contract with another team the Ravens can match it. If the Ravens do not want to match it, they get number one picks in 2023 and 2024. Most importantly, if no one offers him, his 2023 salary is $32 million rather than $45 million, meaning that EDC would not have to blow up the team in order to get under the cap

David Rosenfeld     February 01
Dale as you said the home/road FT disparity is hardly new. Nor is the fact that teams play better at home. I just think some of the stretches the team has had on the road have been horrendous. By the time it's 21-4 or 17-4 or 25-11 or whatever, it's hard to even take the stats for the rest of the game seriously.

I think you hit the nail on the head about last night. Seems silly to say 18 pts and 20 rebounds is making it hard on a guy but it really was...it's a team game that requires a lot more than one guy to win.

hal     February 01
What exactly does "open their books" even mean? So many fans just parrot the media in that regard, what specific financial data do people want to see. More importantly, how much true financial data would a fan or media member even understand?

Ala the BP lunatic, people think they will easily see "that crooked family made two billion $ over the last 10 years" and then pretend "they coulda bought baseball players with that money". These are the same people who say Bisciotti "made" $3B because he paid 750K for Ravens and they could be sold for $4B now.

As for moving, if the O's don't sign a long term lease and eventually move, we need to hold Mayor Scott and Gov Moore accountable. John A claims these two as "personal friends", so how can a lease extension not already be done? I am aware Irsay flat out lied to Schaefer years ago, but Billy Don never claimed that drunken stooge was a personal friend of his, this would be way worse than what happened in 1984. Media should stop chasing Angelos and start chasing B Scott.

Such     February 01
Of more interest than "opening the books" (HaHaHa!) is whether John Angelos signs the one-year lease extension by the end of today. That will be the best indicator of his intentions about the future of the Orioles in Baltimore. His reluctance to do so has me thinking that the Nashville rumors might have some fire and not just smoke.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I can see a scenario where the Orioles go to Nashville and the Oakland A's move here. When billionaires are involved, anything is possible.

Jason M     February 01
They should have a special accounting area set up at fan fest where the P&L can be viewed and audited. They could have the fans get interactive and track how much of their cash made it to the teams bottom line. Talk about interactive and fun for the whole family!

lou@palo alto     February 01
yes, spy is better having played both many times. will be at pebble tho this sat, walking around the turn where u can see holes 8-13--by far the best walking holes for fans

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Youre right Larry. Im only right when i bet the opposite of what Dale predicts. Im not a hater im a thanker!!

CIK     February 01
Dale provides excellent coverage of Terps basketball. His coverage and analysis is thorough and thoughtful. But to say he is hitting 80% winners is preposterous. Just because you write a nice blog doesn’t mean you are “sharp” when picking games.

MFC     February 01
Agree 100% on the Spyglass take, a much better and significantly harder course.



Picking basketball scores might be the hardest of all there are so many variables. Dales does a great job with his reporting and insight how about just enjoying that. If you're placing bets based on his projections the fault lies with you, not him.



TB 12 ruined his marriage for that season?

Josh     February 01
Tom Brady “retiring…for good”. Sure, we’ll see about that

Frank D     February 01
Sooooo - now we can sign Tom Brady for one year and win us another SB??????

Unitastoberry     February 01
As for Angelo's LLC aka Oriole's books. A bird told flew in the window at the warehouse and reported that despite virtually paying nobody but Chris Davis since 1997 they have made a billion plus and paid very little in taxes. The bird was then eaten by a hungry hawk. No further details are available. Remember feed your feathered friends in the cold weather months.

Larry     February 01
Eric in Gaithersburg has never been wrong. Don't you guys all know that?

Creston     February 01
I have followed Dale Williams since he started writing here and I'd put his hoops knowledge up against any of you clowns who criticize him for his predictions.

He probably gets 80% of the games/outcomes right but you clowns only worry about the 20%. Go back to your moms basement clowns and let the basketball guy handle the basketball analysis. Great job Dale!

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Dale wrong as usual! He should do a radio show with Cowherd and Francesa. Backaftathis twitter account would commit suicide from over work. Meanwhile the lame played out Michael Jordan twitter memes from "Turgeon" have oddly disappeared. Never understood that lame flex- look at the new guy failing to dig out the mess i left him? Willard not only deserves coach of the year he also currently 18th ranked recruiting class. Brighter days finally here

Delray RICK     February 01
Read on internet bout KELCE Brothers from their mom when they grew up. HILARIOUS!!

Kevin     January 31
Another spot on prediction by #Dale.

Jk     January 31
Drew......back on the radio. He just announced on Twitter. Welcome back Drew.

hal     January 31
SOD loyalists "RC" and "Geno" must have missed the part where DMD also stated quite clearly that MSJ most certainly did NOT "run up the score" vs CHC. MFC might be being kind saying those guys need a session or two of RC 101, they might need new eyeglasses!

TimD in Timonium     January 31
@Hank, you are correct, sir. LB Roquan Smith has no agent. I thought I'd read he did have one last August, but I'm mistaken. No agent. Got the deal done.

Bobby     January 31
@CIK maybe you should have just stopped at.....



" Nobody knows because Lamar doesn’t put much out there."

Thursday
February 2, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3083


the g.o.a.t.


We were riding home from a match at Chartwell Country Club in 2017. I can't recall if we won or lost, but I clearly remember hearing one of my Calvert Hall golfers loudly lauding his play earlier in the day against his Archbishop Spalding opponent.

As I listened to the chatter, I did the quick math. A bogey at one, a par at two and three, a bogey at four, a bogey at five and a par at six. My player was 3-over on the opening six holes but won the "front six" 2-up thanks, in part, to poor play by his Spalding counterpart.

The back nine wasn't all that much different. My guy was, again, three over for the "back six" and lost that side, 1-down, ultimately winning 2 (of 3) points; one point for winning the front six and one point for winning the overall 12-hole match, 1 up.

I was happy he secured 2 points. I wasn't all that happy with his play. Or his post-round review.

We pulled into Calvert Hall and I stood up.

"Let me leave you guys with this," I said.

"When you're a good golfer, you tell people you're good. When you're a great golfer, people tell you you're great."

I bring that up not to talk about Calvert Hall Golf. I bring it up to talk about Tom Brady, who yesterday announced he was retiring, for good this time.

For the last 23 years, all we've done -- and rightfully so -- is talk about how great Tom Brady is.

There's no one, anywhere -- unless you're just trying to be a contrarian for the sake of it -- who would ever say, "I have to tell you...I don't think Tom Brady was all that great."

Everyone thinks Tom Brady is great.

And that's because.....he is great.

I'll say he's the greatest quarterback I've ever seen. You might think that title belongs to Johnny Unitas (who I didn't really "see"). You might think it belongs to Joe Montana (I did see him). I think it belongs to Tom Brady.

I also know that 25 years from now, someone else will come along and that generation of people who never got to see Tom Brady won't think Brady is better than the new guy.

I do know how recency bias works.

But in my lifetime, in my football-viewing years, Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback I've ever seen.

And it's not even close.


Tom Brady threw for 89,214 regular season yards in his career. Perspective? 90,000 yards (approximately) is 51 miles (approximately). It's about 51 miles from Baltimore to Fairfax VA. That's how far Brady threw the ball in his NFL career.

More perspective? Brady won three Super Bowls in his first four years in the league. Yet, his final 100 games were better, statistically, than his first 100 games, which included those three Super Bowl victories.

If you broke down Brady's career into three, 100-game segments, each of those 100 game segments would get him into the Hall of Fame. Three Super Bowl rings in the first 100. Two Super Bowl rings in the second 100. Two more Super Bowl rings in the third 100.

No one has ever done that.

And no one ever will, either.

I have no idea what Patrick Mahomes is going to do in his career. He will either be 2-1 in Super Bowls or 1-2 after the February 12 encounter with the Eagles. He might win 4, 6 or 8 Super Bowls in his career. I don't know. But I know he'll never have three, 100-game segments like Brady did in his illustrious career.

Of all the things he did, the most impressive was breaking up with the Patriots in 2020 and leading the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title in his first season in Tampa Bay.

That was the boss move of all boss moves...leaving the team you made famous over a 20-year period and taking your new team to a championship in the very first year you were part of the organization.

I could talk about the comebacks and the "no way he's pulling this off" moments and everything else that Tom Brady did that bordered on the unreal.

But when you're great, there's no reason to even go into that. What? I need to convince you that Tom Brady was "great" by reminding you he had a million 4th quarter comebacks in his 23 year NFL run?

"When you're good, you tell people. When you're great, they tell you."

Tom Brady never had to tell anyone he was good.

Never.


Here's the other thing people tend to overlook when they're talking about Tom Brady.

This might sound dumb, but all iconic athletes deal with this. Tiger deals with it. Serena deals with it. LeBron deals with it. Jordan dealt with it. Peyton dealt with it.

Tom Brady had to spend his entire 23 year career dealing with the fact that he is, in fact, Tom Brady.

You might think that's easy.

It's not easy. Not in the least.

Ask Tiger. Or Serena. Or LeBron.

It's hard when everyone expects you to win. Sure, they have more money than they'll ever need, houses they barely live in, and cars they get rid of a year or two later.

But when you're Tom Brady, the expectations you create for yourself wind up being your greatest burden. You're Tom Brady. And the more you do and the greater you are, the harder it becomes to be Tom Brady.

Yet, for 23 years, Tom Brady met those expectations head on. And with alarming consistency, he met the self-imposed demands.

This will seem like a poke at Lamar Jackson, but it's not. It's intended to magnify Tom Brady. Do you know when Tom Brady last missed a game due to injury? That would be 2008.

He played every game in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. He played all 12 games for which he was eligible in 2016; he missed four games that year because the NFL comically suspended him for his role in "Deflategate".

Tom Brady never missed a game due to injury from 2009 through 2022.

"Tom Brady is soft," I've heard his critics say.

No, he isn't.

Not even close, in fact. The words "soft" and "Tom Brady" never collide in the same sentence.

He was a stone-cold winner. He would beat you in his stadium. He would beat you in your stadium. He would beat you on a neutral field.

If they played a game in an alley, somewhere, Brady would beat you there, too.

He beat everyone.

He beat them at 23, 33, 43 and, yes, even age 45.

That he doesn't want to come back and play at age 46 is, frankly, almost a disappointment in and of itself. But Father Time always gets the last say. And Brady's time has come. And he knows it.

None of that takes away from the fact that Tom Brady was better than everyone else. Better than Peyton. Better than Favre. Better than Brees. Better than Elway. Better than all who played the position.

For 23 years, all he did was win.

No one ever told Brady he was good.

And that's because -- Tom Brady was great.

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news and notes


The Orioles were in the news yesterday, as they coaxed Maryland's new Governor, Wes Moore, into publishing a social media message assuring everyone the state and the baseball organization were putting plans together to create a new multi-decade agreement at Camden Yards.

Earlier this week, the Orioles rejected signing a short term 5-year extension at Camden Yards, thereby prompting raised eyebrows throughout the state as rumors continue to swirl about a possible move to Nashville.

"When Camden Yards opened 30 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience," Moore said Wednesday. "We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership."

"We greatly appreciate Governor Moore's vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore," said O's CEO John Angelos. "It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore's second renaissance."

This is mainly posturing by the Orioles to reap the same sort of friendly deal the Ravens recently received from the state and the Maryland Stadium Authority. Nothing more, nothing less.

The longer they don't sign a lease and the longer those Nashville rumors swirl, the more likely it is that the Angelos family and the baseball franchise receive a golden parachute from the state.

Moore, naturally, does not want to be remembered as the Governor who lost the Orioles to Nashville. Or any other city.

All of this is about one thing: money.

The Orioles don't care about improvements to the stadium unless those improvements help make them more money.

The Orioles don't care about revitalizing downtown Baltimore unless those changes help make them more money.

The Orioles don't care about Baltimore's so-called "second renaissance" unless that new era can help make them more money.

That "more money" might come in the form of additional cash in their own bank account(s) or a higher value on the baseball franchise when they attempt to sell it sometime in the near future.

Either way, it's "more money" for them.

If it wasn't about money and it was just about being a good citizen, the Orioles themselves would spend their own money to to improve the stadium, revitalize the area around Camden Yards and lead the charge of the city's "second renaissance."

It's always about money...and it's usually about someone's else money and not their own.

It's about money with the Ravens. It's about money with the orioles.

We all know that. So it's not like we're criticizing them for their money grubbing ways.

It's just the press releases and social media messages get old, quickly.

We know why you're not signing a new lease. You're trying to hold the state for ransom until you get what you want so it best benefits you and your family.

We don't expect you to say that. But you should, at least, be aware that we know what you're doing.


We'll do that with these three guys: Joel Dahmen (+4500), Brendon Todd (+7500) and Justin Suh (+9000). If they win at those odds, that's great. You can also get really good odds on them for Top 10 and Top 5 finishes as well.


We still have four seats left on our bus trip to The Palestra this Saturday to see Penn take on Cornell in Ivy League hoops. The bus leaves from the Towson area at 2 pm. We have courtside seats at the historic venue in downtown Philadelphia. If you've never been to the Palestra, it's a must-see for anyone who considers themselves a basketball fan.

If you'd like to make the trip with us, please e-mail me today: 18inarow@gmail.com

It's $70 per-person, by the way, which includes your game ticket, bus ride and snacks and drinks on the ride to Philly.


Golf fans, be aware! I'm excited to report I'll be back in the hosting chair this year on 105.7, as "Fairways and Greens" returns every Sunday from 12-1 pm -- starting this Sunday, February 5.

If you're a golfer, please make it a point to check out "Fairways and Greens" every Sunday. We'll have a great variety of guests and topics throughout the golf season.


And we have even more great news for area golfers, as #DMD welcomes my friend Bobby Vermillion and his outstanding product, "Endless Golf" as a marketing partner.

Endless Golf is a half hour television program that showcases the best golf courses in Ocean City, Maryland. For over 30, years Endless Golf has showcased all that Ocean City, Maryland has to offer to golf fans! The finest golf courses, great restaurants, accommodations and great golf packages Endless Golf covers it all.

Bobby and I will be providing content in each other's platforms throughout 2023. I'll be hanging out with him on his Endless Golf podcast and we'll be sitting down with Bobby for several ZOOM interviews starting later this month.

Anyone who has spent time golfing in Ocean City knows about Bobby's reputation as the leader in golf promotions on the Eastern Shore and we're thrilled to have him join the #DMD family!

Check out Bobby's website and podcast by clicking on the ad you see above.

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JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
Wednesday
February 1, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3082


there's plenty going on


Where to start?

Dale Williams handles the unpacking of last night's Maryland win over Indiana down in College Park. If the Terps could play a "home only" schedule, they'd be a very dangerous team, huh?

The Ravens, according to media reports, are set to apply the franchise tag to Lamar Jackson if the two parties can't agree to a new contract by mid-March. You can file this news under "we all knew that already".

More on the franchise tag shortly.

Orioles fans who were supposed to meet and greet Adley Rutschman this coming weekend and get an autograph from the star catcher found out yesterday Rutschman isn't "allowed" to sign memorabilia for the rest of the great unwashed at events like the one the Orioles are hosting.

I'll dive into that a little more tomorrow, perhaps, but in the end, as long as Rutschman hits .300 and has 27 HR's, who cares if the fans get shortchanged? Right?


The PGA Tour is at Pebble Beach this week for the annual stop in the Monterey Penisula. We've handicapped the field and hope to give you this week's winner, like we did last week when we gifted you Max Homa, who triumphed at Torrey Pines.

One thing about the event that is only known by folks who have played two of the three courses out there; Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill.

Spyglass is actually a "better course" than Pebble Beach. Don't get me wrong, Pebble wins the cosmetic appeal award, particularly on holes 7, 8, 9, 10 and 18. Those five holes are incredibly beautiful.

But in terms of toughness and "great golf holes", Spyglass gets the nod over Pebble in my opinion.

One memorable thing about my 2018 trip to Pebble Beach. My Friday morning breakfast at the course was a bowl of oatmeal, a toasted bagel, and coffee. That set me back $24 --- $30 with tip, I think.

And before you ask. No, the oatmeal didn't have fruit on it. It was......just oatmeal. Good oatmeal, mind you, but most certainly not a $14.00 bowl of oatmeal.


The Ravens are intrigued enough with Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach Dave Canales that they're bringing him back for a second interview. Whether that news was leaked by the Ravens to make one of their other favorites nervous is anyone's guess. But on the surface, a second interview is a sign that things are serious between the team and Canales.

It's worth noting, too, that interviews these days do not have to be face-to-face. You can ZOOM with someone at a moment's notice, so it's much easier to call a guy at 12 noon and say, "Hey, we have some more questions for you...wanna jump on a video chat with us at 4 pm this afternoon and talk some more with us?"

Canales has been with the Seahawks since 2010 in a variety of coaching positions on the offensive side of the ball.


I was reminded by #DMD reader and e-mailer Eric that John Angelos didn't follow through on his promise to "open the books" for Dan Connolly -- and other media members -- last week.

The books did not open last week, or this week, as John Angelos said they would. Who is surprised? No one.

Eric asked me if I'm going to take Angelos to task.

I'm not sure what any of us can do to John Angelos now that hasn't been done already. I mean, I can't imagine there was anyone in town, media wise, who actually thought he was going to welcome Connolly and others into his office with the team's financial information spread out on a large table.

If the Ravens would have promised something like that and then not followed through, I think we'd probably be surprised. With the Orioles, it's just not a surprise in the least that they didn't follow through.

So, Eric, I'm not sure what you want the end game to be in this situation.

No one is mad, frustrated or disappointed in John Angelos. No one ever thought for a minute he was going to open the books. I don't blame Connolly for taking Angelos to task, however. It was Connolly, of course, that the O's CEO publicly chastised two weeks ago before making the remark that he (Angelos) would be happy to open the team's book "next week" (last week) for everyone to see.

The rest of us, though, knew for sure the books would never be opened.

The Orioles (and by extension, Angelos) are probably hoping the team's improved play on the field will overshadow things like telling the media one thing and doing the other. Personally, I'll take a playoff baseball team over examining the books. But that's just me.


If I've been asked once "What should the Ravens do with Lamar?", I've been asked 500 times. It happened twice yesterday and Monday, in fact.

Because it's the most important topic in town and, frankly, one of the biggest sports stories in Baltimore over the last 30 years, I'll go through it all one more time.

I think the Ravens should make every effort to sign Lamar to a deal they're comfortable with. I couldn't care less what the contract looks like or is worth, money wise. If they think he's a $50 million quarterback, go ahead and give him $50 million annually.

That said, I totally understand the Ravens logic in perhaps cooling off a bit on Lamar. He's missed the month of December in two straight seasons. I'm not going to go as far as to say he's become "unreliable", but if the December shoe fits, wear it.

But if the Ravens can't sign him to a long term deal, that leaves them no other real option, in my opinion. They have to franchise him and then, sadly, deal him to another team.

The only way I wouldn't trade him is if Lamar will go on the record that he won't miss any of the mandatory camps and/or training camp while he's under the franchise tag. And we know he's not going to do that.

So, rather than endure all of the controversy and drama of Lamar waiting until the 23rd hour to sign the franchise tag and report to camp, I'd just trade him for the best package of picks and players I could get.

I have no idea what the Ravens are going to do. I know they definitely want to sign him. I know they'd prefer not to franchise him. And I know they're prepared to franchise him if they can't make a deal.

Do I think they'd trade him? I do. They'd have to be blown away by an offer, obviously, but as Ozzie Newsome was famous for saying when the topic of free agency was brought up around him: "It only takes one team to pay the freight."

If the Falcons, Dolphins, Saints or Buccaneers want Lamar badly enough to fork over 2 or 3 first round picks and another player or two as well, the Ravens would have to listen to those kinds of offers.


Back to the golf action at Pebble Beach. It's not easy to handicap this particular event because players are playing different courses on different days. One-third of the field plays Pebble on day one, one-third of the field plays Monterey Penisula on day one and the other third of the field plays Spyglass on day one. Then they switch and play one of the other courses on Friday and one of the other courses on Saturday.

Jordan Spieth is one of the few top 20 players in the field this week at Pebble Beach.

So it's not easy to sift through the field and figure out who will play well. This week is especially difficult because the field is very light. Jordan Spieth is probably the biggest name playing, along with reigning U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, Viktor Hovland and defending champion Tom Hoge.

But there are some names that jump out at me in the same way Max Homa jumped out at me last week when I handed him to you as a win-bet-to-make at Torrey Pines.

The courses for the event are "wedge heavy", meaning players with the best data from 125 yards and in should be ones you strongly consider this weekend.

That gives you a bunch of guys to think about, including defending champion Tom Hoge, Brendon Todd, Keith Mitchell and California's own Maverick McNealy, who also ranks high on the "shots gained: putting" statistic.

Here's our four "bet-to-win" players plus three longshots who are worth a gamble (no pun intended) based mainly on their odds and other nuances of their current game or their past history at Pebble Beach.

You have to play Tom Hoge, the defending champ, at +1800. He's turned into a really nice player over the last 12-16 months and his data (including #1 on TOUR in birdies from under 125 yards) indicates he's a perfect fit for the course rotation he'll see this week.

Spieth's odds aren't great at +1000, but we're playing him as well. The field is simply too weak. He's one of the best players teeing it up this week. And he can putt those funky poa annua greens as well as anyone.

If you gave us only one player to wager on this week, we'd go with Seamus Power at +2200. He's second to Hoge in birdies from 125 yards and his "shots gained: around the greens" numbers are very good as well. He doesn't drive it particularly straight, but that shouldn't impact him too much out there.

It feels like an "off the radar screen" guy is worth a play this week, so we're also going with Matthew NeSmith as one of our win-bet players. He enters the event at +7500, so he might even qualify as a longshot, but he's definitely one of our four "top plays".

Since only one guy can win, obviously, you should always consider placing wagers on Top 5 or Top 10 finishes among players you like.

We'll do that with these three guys: Joel Dahmen (+4500), Brendon Todd (+7500) and Justin Suh (+9000). If they win at those odds, that's great. You can also get really good odds on them for Top 10 and Top 5 finishes as well.


We still have four seats left on our bus trip to The Palestra this Saturday to see Penn take on Cornell in Ivy League hoops. The bus leaves from the Towson area at 2 pm. We have courtside seats at the historic venue in downtown Philadelphia. If you've never been to the Palestra, it's a must-see for anyone who considers themselves a basketball fan.

If you'd like to make the trip with us, please e-mail me today: 18inarow@gmail.com

It's $70 per-person, by the way, which includes your game ticket, bus ride and snacks and drinks on the ride to Philly.


And speaking of golf, I'm excited to report I'll be back in the hosting chair this year on 105.7, as "Fairways and Greens" returns every Sunday from 12-1 pm -- starting this Sunday, February 5.

If you're a golfer, please make it a point to check out "Fairways and Greens" every Sunday. We'll have a great variety of guests and topics throughout the golf season.


And we have even more great news for area golfers, as #DMD welcomes my friend Bobby Vermillion and his outstanding product, "Endless Golf" as a marketing partner.

Endless Golf is a half hour television program that showcases the best golf courses in Ocean City, Maryland. For over 30, years Endless Golf has showcased all that Ocean City, Maryland has to offer to golf fans! The finest golf courses, great restaurants, accommodations and great golf packages Endless Golf covers it all.

Bobby and I will be providing content in each other's platforms throughout 2023. I'll be hanging out with him on his Endless Golf podcast and we'll be sitting down with Bobby for several ZOOM interviews starting later this month.

Anyone who has spent time golfing in Ocean City knows about Bobby's reputation as the leader in golf promotions on the Eastern Shore and we're thrilled to have him join the #DMD family!

You can check out his podcast by clicking on the ad you see below.


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dale williams aims the
terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


terps stifle hoosiers, 66-55


Last night in College Park, the Maryland Terrapin defense suffocated Indiana’s star, Trace Jackson-Davis, and in doing so choked out the Hoosier’s offense. The Terps held Indiana to just 55 points and posted a 66-55 win in front of a boisterous crown at the XFINITY Center. With the win, the Terps moved to 6-5 in the Big Ten.

The Terrapin offense never really got going, shooting 34% from the floor and making just 5 of 22 threes. But, when you shoot 17 more foul shots than your opponent and make 15 more, you can afford to miss some shots, especially when you play the kind of defense the Terps played last night.

Jahmir Young led Maryland with 20 points even though he hit just 6 of 15 shots. Donta Scott was 6-18 (1-7 from three) while scoring 19 points.

Kevin Willard and the Terps produced yet another impressive home conference win last night, shutting down Indiana in a 66-55 win.

Whenever he touched the ball, the Terps double and triple teamed Jackson-Davis, forcing him to kick it out and limiting him to only 13 shot attempts. He made 7 of those and led his team with 18 points and 20 rebounds. His teammate, Jalen Hood-Shifino, launched a team-high 14 shots and only one of those was made. Many of those attempts were off-balanced and ill-advised. After going 0-4 in the first half, he was 1-10 in the second.

The score was tied at 7 all at the first TV time-out in the opening half. The teams had played just over 5 minutes of dead-even ball, both on the scoreboard and on the stat sheet. Each team had hit one three, and the rest of the points were in the paint.

Maryland was doing a real nice job of surrounding Jackson-Davis, forcing him to look for open shooters. The Indiana big had just 1 shot in the opening 5 minutes.

The next break in the action came at 10:49. The Hoosiers had forged a slight 15-13 lead. Maryland had gone cold from the field, missing their last 5 shots. The Terps had attempted 14 shots and 9 of those were three pointers.

That’s not a good ratio for this Terrapin team, especially when only 1 of the 9 triples was successful. Young was doing most of the offensive work for Maryland, scoring 7 of their 13 points.

Some Terrapin sloppy defense and really poor shot selection gave Indiana a chance to extend their lead, and they took advantage of it by hitting another three and getting 4 points in the paint. Indiana now had a 7-point lead at 22-15. Willard called a well-advised timeout. His team responded with 5 straight points capped by a Scott three.

When Young hit a three with just under 7 minutes remaining in the half, the score was 24-23, with Indiana ahead by a single point. This is when the attendees were treated to a student “flash mob”. I’ve seen a bunch of these and I’d give this one a B+.

Indiana then started to turn the ball over, and Maryland capitalized. A Terrapin 7-0 run gave the home Terps a 30-26 run. Maryland had yet to commit a turnover in over 17 minutes of play while the Hoosiers had 3 in the last 3 minutes. The crowd was as loud as any XFINITY Center crowd I’ve heard this year.

Two Ian Martinez foul shots put Maryland up 6. That was followed by another Indiana turnover which resulted in 2 Young foul shots. He made the second, giving the Terps their biggest lead at 33-26 with 2 minutes left in the half.

The half finished with the Terps up 37-29 despite not hitting a shot from the floor during the last 3:43 of the opening 20 minutes. Indiana helped out by missing 6 of their last 7 shots, but it was really the foul line that separated the two teams. Maryland was successful on 13 of 15 foul shots while the Hoosiers made 5 out of 6. There’s your 8 points.

Notable first half stats, besides the free throws, were Jackson-Davis’s shot total (just 6) and the 7-0 turnover advantage that Maryland enjoyed. The foul discrepancy, 11 called against Indiana compared to just 5 against Maryland also had some significance.

To start the second half, Race Thompson got Indiana quickly back into the game with two buckets and a foul shot. In a flash, the 8-point margin was just 3. Maryland then committed back-to-back turnovers, but the Hoosiers could only turn that into a single made foul shot. It was a 6-0 start to the second half for Indiana and they trailed by 2.

A driving layup by Scott finally got the Terps on the board, but Jackson-Davis made two more foul shots to, again, trim the Terp lead to 2. The TV timeout came after Indiana’s Tamar Bates chased down Martinez and committed a flagrant foul. Martinez hit both shots and when Reese converted a put-back, the Terps had a four-point play and 6-point lead.

That sequence was a turning point in the game. Down by 2, the Hoosiers were gaining momentum. After the intentional foul and the bucket afterwards, Indiana never again got within a single possession.

The scoring came to a screeching halt during the second 4-minute stretch of the second half. The Terps had zero field goals in the last 3:35 and Indiana had made only 1 of their last 7 shots from the floor. Jackson-Davis was nowhere to be found, as his teammates elected to take some difficult shots instead of pounding the ball down low. He hadn’t attempted a shot in over 4 minutes.

Young’s 3 pointer pushed the Terp lead to 9. Even when Indiana did get the ball to Jackson-Davis, double and triple teams forced him to kick it out. Although reluctant to shoot the three, eventually that was the shot Indiana had to take.

After the under 8-minute timeout, Jackson-Davis scored five straight to give the Hoosiers hope. The score was 54-49 with 5:01 left when Scott went to the line after Malik Reneau fouled out. Scott hit both and the gap was 7.

Another double team of Jackson-Davis produced a steal and when Scott followed his own miss with a short jumper, the margin was a seemingly insurmountable 10 points.

With 3:09 left in the game, Maryland was shooting 22% from the floor and had made just 1 of 7 threes. However, Indiana had converted only 32% from the field, plus the Terps had a 10-5 second half advantage from the foul line.

Driving buckets by Reese and Scott sandwiched a tough shot miss by Indiana, and sealed the Hoosiers fate. The final score was 66-55.

I thought Indiana didn’t go to Jackson-Davis enough. Yes, his supporting cast needs to be better than they were last night. But it was a huge mistake for your best player to take only 13 shots while another player goes 1-14. That’s 13 dry possessions

Give Coach Kevin Willard credit, the game plan he installed worked perfectly. They made it really hard for Jackson-Davis to put in his work, and the others on Indiana’s roster couldn’t handle the rest of the offensive load.

I had what I thought was an interesting conversation while I attended the Maryland / Wisconsin game less than a week ago. I was sitting in my seat on press row and sitting next to me was the gentleman responsible for the officiating crews in the Big Ten. I asked him why, in conference play, does the home team almost always shoot more foul shots than the visiting team. He gave me a coy smile and said, “Hmmm, well……, I guess the road team commits more fouls.” I left it at that.

In Maryland’s 6 home wins, they have shot 64 more foul shots than their opponent. They have outscored the visitors by 58 points from the foul line. That’s huge. Like really huge. You simply cannot discount that effect on the game and you can’t attribute that difference to cheap, intentional, fouls at the end of a game.

In the Terp’s 5 road losses, they’ve only shot 49 free throws, making 30 of those. The home team in those games has outscored Maryland at the free throw line by 48 points while shooting 52 more foul shots.

This is hardly a new phenomenon in college basketball, and it’s certainly not relegated to the Big Ten. But I’m not sure I’ve seen it as prevalent as it is with Maryland this season.

The Terrapins next travel to Minnesota this weekend to take on the Golden Gophers. Gametime on Saturday is 9 p.m.

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RANDY MORGAN
on American soccer


Americans are playing more and more of a vital role in international soccer these days, and Randy Morgan has his eyes on all of them for #DMD. Each week here, he looks at recent performances of American players and highlights upcoming games of importance.


European Roundup

England --

The Premier League had the week off for the FA Cup to take center stage. The headliner of the weekend was the showdown between the top two in the league standings, Arsenal and Manchester City.

American keeper Matt Turner got the start in goal for Arsenal, his biggest moment thus far in his European career. Turner acquitted himself well, showing improved skills on the ball and in his passing distribution.

Perhaps in an effort to not give too much away to Manchester City before their two important matchups in the league, Arsenal deployed a slightly weakened lineup, devoid of star midfielder Martin Odegaard.

They managed to hang with City anyway, playing a fairly evenly matched game where neither team managed to produce much danger in attack. However, a well placed strike from defender Nathan Ake decided the game for Manchester City in the 64th minute, with the game finishing 1-0.

Among the other notable cup results, Brighton took down Liverpool again, just a few weeks after upsetting them in the league, with a 2-1 win on a dramatic late goal from winger Kaoru Mitoma. Manchester United progressed with a 3-1 win over second division club Reading thanks to two goals from midfielder Casemiro. Hulu docuseries darlings Wrexham nearly pulled off another shocking upset but gave away a late goal for a 3-3 draw with the second place team in the second division, Sheffield United, necessitating a replay game.

Finally, Leeds United advanced with a 3-1 win over lower division side Accrington Stanley. However the bigger news came off the field, where it was announced that US star Weston McKennie will be heading to join fellow Americans Tyler Adams, Brenden Aaronson and coach Jesse Marsch for the remainder of the season at Leeds. If Marsch is a serious candidate for the US coach he is basically getting a trial run coaching three of the team's key pieces for the rest of the Premier League season.


Germany --

In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich has hit a rough patch in the post-World Cup restart. The leaders drew both games this week 1-1. First against Koln, where they needed a miraculous long range strike from Joshua Kimmich to tie the game in the closing minutes and then against Eintracht Frankfurt who scored an equalizer of their own through Kolo Muani late in the second half.

Union Berlin, RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund all capitalized on the opening left by Bayern, each winning games this week to close the gap on the reigning champions. Union sits just one point behind Bayern, with Leipzig a point behind them and Dortmund one behind them.

In Dortmund’s midweek game, Gio Reyna scored his second straight game winning goal after subbing on midway through the second half. In the closing minutes, Reyna latched on to a headed ball off a corner kick and tapped it past the keeper at the back post to seal the victory.

Another American youngster scored a fantastic goal over the weekend. Teenager Kevin Paredes made another substitute appearance for Wolfsburg and made an instant impact, nearly setting up one goal with a nice move in the box then scoring his own with a rocket shot off a bouncing ball at the top of the box. Paredes continues to play well when he gets minutes and should see his playing time gradually increase.


Italy –

In Serie A, Napoli downed another contender to increase their lead at the top. The league leaders got a 2-1 win over Roma thanks to a late goal from substitute striker Giovanni Simeone. Victor Osimhen also scored a spectacular goal to open the scoring and add to his league leading tally of 14.

AC Milan entered the week in second place, but had a rough turn that dropped them several spots. In the midweek game they were dominated by the Lazio midfield in a 4-0 loss then things got worse over the weekend when Sassuolo trounced them 5-2. Their slide allowed Napoli’s lead to grow to a staggering 13 points. Inter Milan jumped up to second place over the weekend with a 2-1 win over Cremonese.


Spain –

In La Liga, Barcelona earned another hard fought 1-0 win over local rival Girona thanks to a second half goal from Pedri. That win allowed them to extend their lead over second place Real Madrid, who were held scoreless in a 0-0 draw against red hot 3rd place Real Sociedad. The Barcelona lead is now five points over Real Madrid.


France –

Despite having Messi, Mbappe and Neymar all on the field together for the first time since the World Cup, Paris St. Germain managed only a 1-1 draw with Reims. However, second place Lens also drew 1-1 with Troyes so PSG remains three points ahead in first place.


Team of the Week

G: Kobel - Dortmund

D: Tomiyasu - Arsenal; Militao - Real Madrid; Ake - Man City

M: Pedri - Barcelona; Casemiro - Man United; Zielinski - Napoli; Ceballos - Real Madrid

F: Berardi - Sassuolo; Osimhen - Napoli; Mitoma - Brighton


Player of the Week

Kaoru Mitoma - Brighton & Hove Albion

The 25 year old Japanese winger had an outstanding performance to spark Brighton to a comeback 2-1 win that eliminated Liverpool from the FA Cup. Mitoma scored the game winning goal in injury time, displaying a superb piece of skill to settle the ball out of the air then blast it past the keeper in one swift movement.

Mitoma tormented the Liverpool defense throughout the game, completing 7 of 10 dribbling moves. He has been on fire of late for a Brighton team that keeps winning despite losing several of its best players and its coach.

Mitoma has four goals and an assist in fourteen Premier League games this season and will have an increased role for the remainder of the season with former Brighton attacker Leandro Trossard now at Arsenal. If he continues to play this way, Mitoma could be the next Brighton export to head to one of the title contending clubs.

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Tuesday
January 31, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3081


"your client isn't as good as he thinks he is"


Back to the mailbag we go today.

Questions keep piling up and I vow to myself to do a better job of answering them.

I'm still here, still vowing, still trying to get them all answered.

So let's get some of the out of the way today, shall we?

Dan in Elkton asks -- "I have a question regarding contract negotiations. When you worked for the Baltimore Blast, how did you negotiate a contract without making things personal with the player? With Lamar Jackson acting as his own agent, how does one separate "business Lamar from the player Lamar"? I know in the court of law, lawyers will push the envelope with the jury until the judge states that the jury should disregard what they just heard - but do they ? I'd like to read about your experiences."

DF says -- "I haven't been involved in the contract talks with Lamar, obviously, but I can say with a high degree of certainty that the biggest reason why he's still unsigned as of 1/31/23 is because he doesn't utilize the services of an agent to do his negotiating. At some point along the way, an agent would have figured out to way to make a deal happen. I believe that "200%", as John Harbaugh likes to say.

Would Lamar have a deal already in place if he would have used an agent to negotiate his extension with the Ravens?

And, yes, someone representing themselves is dealt with much differently than someone who is represented by an agent. I negotiated deals with agents when I was in the soccer business and I negotiated a number of contracts with the players themselves. And there's no doubt you say things to an agent about the player that you wouldn't feel comfortable saying to the player himself.

It's much easier to say to the agent, "Your client isn't as good as he thinks he is" than it is to say that same thing to the player sitting right there in front of you.

The one thing a good agent knows is when he or she has reached that point where the deal is in danger of falling apart if the offer on the table is turned down.

This is clearly apples to oranges when I recite this one particular situation I dealt with in the soccer business. We're talking about a 3-year contract worth roughly $240,000 and Lamar is talking about a contract worth $240 MILLION. But anyway...

I had an agent contact me about a player from San Diego who was a free agent and was looking to move on if he could get the right deal. "He's looking for 3-years at $80,000 per-season" the agent said to me. "He'll leave San Diego for that contract."

I told him to do nothing and make no other calls for one hour and that I'd get right back to him.

Within 30 minutes, I called him back. "We have a deal," I said. "Three years, $80,000 per-season. My secretary is typing up the contract now. You'll have it on your fax machine in 30 minutes."

We exchanged pleasantries and hung up the phone.

20 minutes later, he called my office again. "Just a few other things," the agent said. "We'd like a $5,000 moving allowance to move his stuff from San Diego. And $10,000 if he makes the All-Star team. And $10,000 if you guys make the championship series and he plays in at least 80% of the games. And $20,000 if he's the MVP of the championship series."

My silence on the other end of the phone told the story.

"Are we good with that?" he asked.

"No, we're most certainly not good with that," I said. "You asked me for a 3-year deal at $80,000 per-season and I agreed to that. That's the deal. Nothing more, nothing less."

"Well," the agent said, "we're probably going to need a day or two to think this over." That, of course, was code-word for: "We're going to need a day or two to see if we can get anyone else in the league to make him a better offer."

"If you don't return that contract to me, signed, by 5 pm today, the deal is off the table," I told the agent. It was 1 pm or so in the afternoon.

I assume he called the player and said, "Hey, I think we've pushed the limit on Baltimore. If you want the contract they offered, we need to sign it. If not, we can shop elsewhere but I think they're going to move on if we don't sign today."

They sent the signed contract over at 4:00 pm.

That's the kind of conversation you can have with an agent that you might not want to get into with the player on his own. Feelings get in the way and you wind up having to say things you might not want to say.

Imagine Eric DeCosta sitting in front of Lamar at The Castle in Owings Mills and saying to him, "Let's be real, Lamar. You haven't played in December in 2 years. Almost every time we've played an AFC North rival the last couple of years, you miss the game for some reason. We missed the playoffs in 2021 because you got hurt and we got bounced in the first round this year because you got hurt again. You're a good quarterback, but when you're injured, you're not helping us."

How would that go over with Jackson? Even though it's all true, I can't imagine he'd like hearing it.

But you could have that exact conversation with Lamar's agent. Therein lies the difference."


Miles asks -- "I saw a comment in DMD about Mount Saint Joe leading Calvert Hall in hoops 52-8 at halftime and going on to win the game by something like 50 points and I was wondering if you would comment on the idea of running up the score like that in a future edition of DMD. Thanks!"

DF says -- "I think the term "running up the score" is a misnomer nearly every time those four words are used together in a sentence. To me, "running up the score" means you're intentionally trying to beat the other team in such a convincing matter that it causes emotional damage to the players on the losing side.

Running up the score is "mean". It's "not cool", if you will. If you intentionally try to run up the score on the other team, you're a creep.

But I don't think what happened in the MSJ-Calvert Hall game came anywhere close to running up the score.

Have high school teams "run up the score" on other high school teams? Definitely.

Is 52-8 a lopsided halftime score, particularly given that MIAA quarters are 8 minutes long? Definitely.

But was Mount Saint Joseph trying to be up by 44 points at the half? I doubt it.

I think they were just trying to play the best basketball they could in those 16 minutes. And it turned into a rout.

And how do you tell a kid to not try hard or to not execute to the best of his abilities in a game when all you do in practice is preach to that kid that "you better be able to do this stuff in the game...when it matters."??

Even in the second half of that game, when Saint Joe "only" won 30-27, how do you tell the second and third stringers to go in the game but "don't try to do your best"??

Those might be the only 10 minutes that kid gets all season. His grandparents might be there. His girlfriend and her parents might be in the stands. Perhaps this is one of the rare games his Dad can attend because he travels a lot for work.

So the kid gets in mid-way through the 3rd quarter and, to him, the score is 33-33 instead of 73-19. He just wants to get some time, compete hard, make a few buckets and, for once, feel like he's part of the team.

What was Pat Clatchey supposed do in that game? Tell the kid who comes in off the bench to not score any points?

Now, it would be completely bush league if Clatchey gathered his team at halftime and said, "I know it's 52-8 right now but I do not want us to let up one bit in the second half. I want to beat those guys by 80 points if we can. Let's try and win this game 100-20."

But I highly doubt he did that. I'd be shocked to find out that Clatchey "wanted" to win 82-35. I think he was happy to win, period, and the fact he got some second and third stringers in the game was worth jumping out to that 52-8 halftime lead."


Chas asks -- "A bit of a hot button question for you but I know you don't shy away from them, so here's one for your Q & A column. Rank the 10 best quarterbacks in the NFL. Thanks and Go Hall!"

DF says -- Yes sir! Go Hall indeed! Speaking of the Hall, they came back from 27-24 down at the half to beat Loyola last night, 52-47. OK, yes, a hot button topic indeed. And doing these kinds of ranking things is so subjective because quarterback #1 with a great offensive line and a host of wide receivers might not perform nearly as well if he played on quarterback #3's team with a so-so offensive line and one good wide receiver, etc.

Compiling a list like this also doesn't take into account offensive coordinators, the weather at their home games, etc. Example, how much better would Josh Allen be, say, in Atlanta, Dallas or Indianapolis? I have no idea, of course. I'm just pointing that out.

But all things being equal, here's my list, with how many lengths behind everyone is from the guy at #1...as if it were a horse race.

10. Aaron Rodgers (14)

9. Dak Prescott (13)

8. Tua Tagovailoa (12)

7. Trevor Lawrence (10)

6. Lamar Jackson (9)

5. Jalen Hurts (8)

4. Josh Allen (6)

3. Justin Herbert (5)

2. Joe Burrow (3)

1. Patrick Mahomes


It's worth noting the following:

The only guys I'm 100% certain are in the right spot are Mahomes at #1 and Burrow at #2. There's no doubt they're the two best QB's in the league right now.

After that, it's just throwing names in and trying to say "if I had to start a team and Mahomes and Burrow were gone and unavailable, who would I take 3rd? 4th? 5th?

I feel like Trevor Lawrence is capable of being #3 or #4 on the list.

Jalen Hurts might be #3 or #4 right now.

If Lamar would play an entire season, he might be #3 or #4.

Tua was #3 or #4 this past season for a month or two. He was a potential MVP candidate until he had the concussion issues.

Rodgers, of course, was as good as any of those guys on the list when he was in his prime. But now he's in the December of his career. A change in uniform might do him some good for a year or two."

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dale williams aims the
terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


terps host indiana tonight


I challenge anyone to watch recent games involving Indiana and then tell me what to expect from this Hoosier team tonight in College Park.

They got off to a 1-4 Big Ten start, only to reel off 5 straight wins getting them to 6-4 in conference. That number is good enough for third place in this year of relative parity throughout the league.

Of their last 5 wins, 4 have been by 13 or more points, while their strongest challenge was a 4-point win over 1-9 Minnesota. The Golden Gophers are the conference’s weakest team but played Indiana tough.

Can Jahmir Young lead the surging Terps to another Big Ten win tonight at home against a solid Indiana team?

Injuries have made this Indiana water even more murky. Senior guard Xavier Johnson is out with a foot injury. His playmaking, ball-handling, and defense are sorely missed. He was leading his team in assists per game and was logging 25 minutes per contest.

The playing status of 6’6” Jordan Geronimo is up in the air as of this writing. In the two games prior to injuring his leg last week, Geronimo put up 13 points in 30 minutes against Illinois and 12 points 11 rebounds in 29 minutes of play vs Wisconsin. He was seeing increased minutes because of the knee injury to Race Thompson. Thompson is another mystery.

Thompson was a Terrapin killer last year. In the two games played last season, Thompson averaged 18.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. He toasted the Terps with 16 of 24 shooting. He’s just now seeing his minutes increasing since coming back from his knee injury, but he hasn’t been at the same level of effectiveness. Which Race Thompson do we see tonight?

The Hoosiers remind me a little of Purdue, in that they have a superstar and then drop off to four much weaker supporting cast members.

Their superstar is Trace Jackson-Davis (we’ll call him TJD), the Big Ten’s third leading scorer. Purdue’s Zach Edey is my solid vote for Big Ten Player of the Year, but TJD is number 2. At 6’9” and 245 lbs., he isn’t anywhere near as big as Edey, but he’s much more skilled. He can put the ball on the floor and has a bag full of tricks around the basket.

TJD is almost an every-game double/double. He gets 19.6 points per contest to go along with 10.7 rebounds. The last time he didn’t have a double/double was in Indiana’s win at Illinois when he “only” had 9 rebounds to go along with his 35 points.

He spells trouble for Maryland and foul trouble for Juju Reese. TJD will score points in bunches tonight. Exactly how many rests entirely on how much they go to him. He’s almost 60% from the floor and he has yet to shoot a three this year.

I almost forgot this tidbit, TJD is the Big Ten leader in blocked shots with 3.2 per game. That’s one block better than Purdue’s 7’4” Edey.

The Hoosiers, on offense, will run sets to get the ball into TJD’s hands. He’s their first option. Double teaming him is advised, but Indiana can make you pay if you choose to cover him with more than one guy.

As a team, the Hoosiers are just 1/1000 of a percentage point behind Penn State in Big Ten three-point field goal percentage. With such a high percentage of their threes being successful, it’s a bit head scratching that they take the fewest three-point attempts in the conference. That stat further indicates their preference to take the ball inside. It’s also the reason that they are the only Big Ten team to shoot over 50% from the floor (.503).

Miller Kopp takes the most threes on this Indiana team. The 6’7” senior has made 37 of 83 tries this year. That equates to a team best 44.6%. Tamar Bates comes off of the bench to knock down 41.1% while starters Trey Galloway (48.6%) and Jalen Hood-Schifino (43.1% – JHS for short) round out this quartet of Indiana long range snipers.

Point guard JHS is fresh off a 24-point performance against Ohio State where he dropped 6 of 9 threes. The big (6’6”) freshman guard has his career high against Northwestern when he dropped 33 while hitting 5 of 7 three pointers. He can be tough.

I look for Maryland to play more zone than is their norm. Not as much as they showed Michigan in that second game, but certainly more than usual. The goal would be to limit the looks for TJD. Indiana will hope that the increased number of three-point attempts translates into increased points.

Here are some items we can expect tonight. Reese is getting into foul trouble (again) and this time Patrick Emilien can’t bail him out with quality minutes off the bench. Emilien is just too small to battle with TJD. Indiana will win the boards, and the second chance points.

Jahmir Young has had a great year, and as he goes so goes Maryland. He’ll face a big guard tonight and guards with exceptional size and decent quickness have given the Terp point guard some problems.

As you can probably tell, I feel this isn’t a good matchup for the Terps. Jackson-Davis is by far the best player on the court and Indiana will go to him whenever they need a bucket. I won’t be surprised to see him approach 30 points in this game.

Indiana has Purdue up next, and maybe they will overlook tonight’s terp matchup. Maybe not. They have solid outside shooters, decent defenders, and an NBA quality big man. That all adds up to an upset tonight.

The 2.5 point underdog (it opened at 3) Hoosier team will leave College Park having run their Big Ten record to 7-4. Jackson-Davis puts up 27 and 11, while Race Thompson gets back to double digits with 12.

Unfortunately, the Terrapin home win streak ends tonight with an 81-75 loss to the Hoosiers.

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RANDY MORGAN
on American soccer


Americans are playing more and more of a vital role in international soccer these days, and Randy Morgan has his eyes on all of them for #DMD. Each week here, he looks at recent performances of American players and highlights upcoming games of importance.


u.s. soccer update

This week was a busy one for both European soccer and the US men. In England the FA Cup featured a headline matchup between the top two in the Premier League standings, providing a preview of the title race stretch run.

On the continent, powerhouse Bayern Munich stumbled in Germany, opening up the potential for a true title race in the Bundesliga. Over in Italy, Napoli continued to dominate Serie A, opening up a large gap at the top. In Spain it was Barcelona extending their lead over Real Madrid in La Liga.

In American soccer, there was a significant shakeup in the management of the US Soccer Federation that will have implications for the ongoing head coach search. Meanwhile, a mix of fringe prospects and MLS-based World Cup veterans played two friendlies for the USMNT, losing 2-1 to Serbia and drawing 0-0 with Colombia.

In Europe, several Americans were key contributors for their clubs this week, producing multiple highlight reel goals. There was also a major move for one of the most important US starters, who is heading to join a few of his American teammates.


USMNT News and Notes –

This week we’ll start off with some important developments in the structure of the US Soccer Federation and break down the search for the next head coach followed by a quick recap of the two friendlies.

Last week there was a great set of questions from Such in the comments section, so I’ll try to break down the coaching search and address his questions.

#DMD's Randy Morgan feels it's unlikely Greg Berhalter will return as the U.S. men's team coach.

“Randy, I'm curious on your thoughts about the USMNT coaching situation. There's a really good piece on The Ringer today about the particular difficulties and complexities of coaching the team heading into 2026.

It appears there's going to be a delicate balancing act of managing expectations while playing primarily low-level friendlies since the US is an automatic qualifier.

I've got a few questions, which you can either answer here or perhaps in a future piece: Is Berhalter definitely a goner? Would the US Federation pony up the big bucks for someone like Zidane? How attractive is the job to well established managers? Are there any younger "up and comers" in US soccer who might be under consideration? Your perspective on this would be appreciated.”

Before we get to the questions, there was a huge development between the time of this question and writing this response. Late last week, US Soccer announced that both Sporting Director Earnie Stewart and Men’s General Manager Brian McBride would be parting ways.

This leaves a huge void at the top of the US Soccer management hierarchy, as Stewart oversaw the entire program, men’s and women’s and McBride was the head of the men’s side.

What this means is the federation will now need to fill at least the Sporting Director role before even diving into the USMNT head coach search. They said they would like to complete this whole process and have a new coach by the summer, but it remains unclear if that would be before the Nations League Finals and Gold Cup this summer. So it could be interim Head Coach Anthony Hudson filling in for those competitions.

While this development delays the process a bit, it does mean coaching candidates currently in their club season may get more consideration, since they won’t need to leave their team midseason to join the US.

Now, as far as the questions from above. On the status of Gregg Berhalter, I don’t think he is definitely a goner. It seems like he remains a candidate, and it could depend on what the other options are.

However, given the recent incidents that came to light in the Reyna saga, along with the departure of the leadership that hired him, it does seem unlikely that Berhalter will continue as the head coach. At this point it would appear the federation wants to go in a new direction with some fresh ideas.

As for those other coaching options, I highly doubt the sticking point would end up being money. I think the federation would pony up the big bucks if needed to attract the candidate they prefer. The issue is more about the desirability of the position. This is not an issue unique to the US job either. International head coaching jobs are simply not seen as the pinnacle of the game anymore.

Most prominent coaches in the prime of their careers want the top club team jobs because they both pay more and provide a greater challenge and visibility. Club coaches get a large number of games and competitions to develop players and test and tinker with their tactics, while international coaches get just a few camps and games per year, in between a couple of major competitions every two to four years.

Add to that the fact that, while the US has a talented group of young players, they are still not among the elite contenders to win the World Cup. Even those top contenders can’t always lure the most prominent club coaches. England would rank as one of the top international jobs there is and their coach, Gareth Southgate had a relatively paltry club resume before being hired.

In general, international managers tend to be up-and-comers or older coaches looking for a semi-retirement gig. The coach of World Cup winning Argentina was an assistant coach within the federation with limited head coaching experience before being hired because he had a great relationship with star Leo Messi.

So any reports you see linking names like Guardiola or Klopp or even Zidane with the US job are likely pie in the sky. When it comes to candidates for the next coach, there are a couple prominent names from European soccer I could see as longshots, but I wouldn’t bet on them being the choice.

Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel are the two most notable coaches without jobs currently, but its very unlikely either of them would choose the US job over potential positions at clubs like Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund.

A couple of slightly more realistic names are Jose Mourinho and Marcelo Bielsa. Both of these coaches are in the November of their careers and Bielsa has former national team experience.

However, both are notoriously difficult to deal with and Mourinho especially would represent a sharp tactical departure for the US team. Bielsa also speaks very little English and neither likely has much understanding of MLS or the US soccer infrastructure.

It seems more feasible that the next US coach will come from a group of American coaches, mostly up-and-comers, but with a few more established names.

The obvious number one candidate would be Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch. The 49 year old Marsch has had a fairly rapid rise through the coaching ranks, starting with the New York Red Bulls then moving to RB Salzburg in Austria then RB Leipzig in Germany and finally to the Premier League.

He implements the distinct “Red Bull” style that is heavily focused on frantic pressing, which would be a bit of a tactical shift, but could suit the US player pool. The biggest issue with Marsch is that he may not be ready to leave his dream job in the Premier League to shift to the international game. Perhaps if things go south at Leeds this season (which we really hope they don’t) then he may have more interest in the US job.

Another American coach with experience in the top European leagues is New Jersey native, Pellegrino Matarazzo. The former Stuttgart coach has helmed several teams in the German first and second divisions and could bring a wealth of experience to the team.

Among the more up-and-coming group, the top option might be Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtain. The 43 year old has had huge success with a limited budget in Philadelphia. He is well regarded as a tactician and has done a great job developing young players, such as American attacker Brenden Aaronson.

A couple of other names that could be interesting are Steve Cherundolo and John Herdman. Cherundolo is a former US national team player who spent significant time in Germany as both a player and an assistant coach. He just completed a very successful first season as coach of LAFC where he led them to the MLS Cup title.

Herdman is the current coach of the Canadian national team who always seems to make them more than the sum of their parts. He got the better of Gregg Berhalter tactically in nearly every matchup between the two and could be intrigued by the depth of talent in the US player pool.

It is also possible that US Soccer will try to unearth a hidden gem somewhere else in the world. Perhaps someone who has worked closely with some of the more prominent club coaches that could bring some fresh ideas to the team. It will certainly be interesting to follow the search.

In the meantime, interim Head Coach Anthony Hudson led the US team in two friendlies this week against Serbia and Colombia. With a roster consisting mainly of fringe players along with a few World Cup veterans the US lost to Serbia 2-1 and tied Colombia 0-0.

There is not much to take from these games with few first-choice players on either side and most of the players in preseason form. It was interesting to get a look at a few young prospects who could be key contributors in the U20 World Cup or next year’s Olympics.

19 year old San Jose Earthquakes winger, Cade Cowell, was a standout against Serbia. The young attacker was the most dangerous player for the US throughout the game and nearly scored a couple times, pinging the post twice.

Midfielder Alan Sonora and dual national Mexican-American winger Alejandro Zendejas both showed good touch on the ball and could have a future with a more full strength team.

Goalkeeper Gaga Slonina also showed why he is one of the most hyped goalie prospects the US has produced. The 18 year old had several outstanding saves and could be the starting keeper for both the U20 World Cup and Olympics.

Against Colombia the US played a more veteran lineup with World Cup participants like Walker Zimmerman, Jesus Ferreira, Kellyn Acosta and Aaron Long getting the start. Colombia provided stiffer competition and the US held up well.

Ferreira was the standout for the US, with several nice passes to set up chances for his teammates. New York Red Bulls left back, John Tolkin, also had a decent showing against the Colombians and could be a backup option for the full senior team when they next convene in March.

We’ll bring you the European roundup here tomorrow, where several Americans provided highlights.

But, one American prospect especially stood out in the Netherlands this weekend. 21 year old attacking midfielder Taylor Booth delivered a Man of the Match performance for FC Utrecht in a wild 5-5 draw with AZ Alkmaar and fellow American Djordje Mihailovic.

Booth had a hand in four of the five Utrecht goals, assisting one and playing an instrumental role in setting up the others. He has been a key player for 7th place FC Utrecht this season and should be in line for a call up to the US team in March.


Tomorrow here at #DMD, we’ll look at what happened in Europe and elsewhere overseas last weekend.

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#dmd comments








larry     February 03
Duke coach is making a stink and blaming "the world" for that mix up?? If the players didn't notice after one or two possessions, well not sure what to say there. That Duke team must stink if it took 20 minutes of play to realize they had the wrong ball.

hank     February 03
Hard to decide who is the bigger curmudgeon these days, @MFC or @UTB. @UTB, we are from the same generation, and I used to b*tch and moan about a lot of the stuff that you do as well, then finally decided WTH am I doing? We are on the back 9 brother, find things that you enjoy, that make you happy, and focus on those things. Leave all the bellyaching to the young twitter dopes who think they know everything! None of them know even 20% of what us old farts know. God bless brother!

Unitastoberry     February 03
Thanks CIK. Forgot about sleeve ball Al Davis. Perhaps it's time for a MLB owner to challenge the league on franchise relocation? Maybe Fredo is working with Hyman Roth on that? Lol

Ken     February 03
Five predictions from Drew's lead article today.



1. Ravens sign Lamar to 3 year $140 million deal that's all guaranteed.

2. Canales of Seattle is the new O.C.

3. Caps make playoffs lose in first round to Carolina.

4. Tiger wins a tournament this year but not a major and then retires.

5. Terps are a 4 seed in NCAA tourney and lose in 2nd round.

Joe     February 03
The Wizards are wildly inconsistent this year, going 3-14 during one stretch along with a 4, a 5, and a 6 game winning streak. They are a better team than last year, as Kristaps Porzingis has been relatively injury free and Bradley Beal has actually started distributing the basketball. Kyle Kuzma is a legit scorer, but also a pending free agent so he could possibly be traded by next week's deadline. They did trade Rui Hachimura two weeks ago to the Lakers, who was a solid player but literally doesn't pass the ball, averaging less than an assist per game in over 20 minutes a game (which is hard to do).



I have been a fan since the Baltimore Bullet days, and miss the success of Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes ...

CIK     February 03
@David R

The fact that nobody could immediately feel the difference in the ball is puzzling. My guess is they were using the correct ball. As soon as you play with a women’s ball, you realize it’s much easier to handle and shoot.

CIK     February 03
@U2B

I am sure the NFL has the same language in the owners contracts. The problem is that Al Davis challenged that and beat the NFL in court. So there is precedent to move and not have to get “approval”.

David Rosenfeld     February 03
Wanted to comment about the first thing in the Breakfast Bytes. The Duke coach says that "this would never happen in a men's game." I've actually seen it happen, the teams realized after a minute that they were using a women's ball, and the ball was switched. She said cryptically that "you can figure out who the people are" that failed in this situation. Can you? It could have been a variety of things...like, there is an entire rack of balls for warmups, were they all women's balls and did this get put into the rack by accident? The person who brings the rack out onto the court might be a 19-year-old team manager or a random facilities person. I've never seen a game where the refs don't check the ball before the game. They didn't notice? Seems a bit odd, and something to kind of laugh about in retrospect instead of making a federal case about.

TimD in Timonium     February 03
Regular updates & news about The Wiz? Yawn. Pass.



I'm not an NBA guy, but I have been watching LeBron play lately. Averaging 30 a night and is a week away from becoming the all-time NBA scoring leader. Amazing.



Orioles. Caps. College lax. (Almost) March Madness. Plenty of good stuff to see / talk about.




MFC     February 03
Dog days, you could be a Tar Heel fan and watch the #1 ranked team (first week) fall out of the top 25 and "may" not get an NCAA bid. The NIL "sponsors" want their money back. Not to worry as Bacot rides around Chapel Hill in his Carolina Blue Audi Q8. Also, an interesting article in the NY Times about the NIL and how it's siphoning off $$$ that used to go directly into the general funds of athletic programs. And how about Alabama football where a d-back wanted $800,000 to play there and Nick said, "this may not be the right school for you".But his QB got a million, it pays to be an offensive player, especially QB.



Lady Terps got beat in IOWA last night as this kid Clark goes off for 42, she is a player. Game ended after 11, how are those 9 AM classes going today?



I'm so sick and tired of these basketball officials going to the replay for everything. Dragging the games down. I know it's important to get the call right but it's really getting out of hand.

Unitastoberry     February 03
So NFL teams can move whenever and MLB teams have to get the other owners approval. That's interesting. What's also interesting is that most MLB owners hate Angelos because he backed a union work stoppage but he's not anything about paying players top money since the Albert Belle fiasco. He's a hypocrite. They ruined baseball for me and others in my age group during the prime of my life in Baltimore. This nucleus of draft picks now will end up like the mid 90s and mid 2010s nucleus. Sold off unless there's a new owner.

Karl     February 03
Cleveland has 3 teams, Philly , Washington, but yet this town barely can sustain NFL and MLB and complain that UMD doesnt market here….bottom 5 in attendance for MLB- a wonder why any business owner would not move to Nashville- and NFL didnt want to be here….if attendance to games falter ….will their reasoning be true….at least we have the Ironbirds and Ferrous!

lou@palo alto     February 02
Ah, Steve--# 32 Browns, 19 Colts-livin the dream!!!

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Comparing players from different eras is not feasible .Jim Brown from the 1960s is considered by many to be the greatest running back of all time,; however he never faced linebackers with 4.5 speed .His cutback style against the grain like they did in those days doesn't fly in today's game

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
@U2B- I was 6 when Johnny U took his last snap on 33rd street so I never got to see him play. I would have liked to. But you and @Lou are correct, it is apples to peaches when comparing the Brady football era with the Johnny U football era. What I don't think can be argued very far is the statement, they both reigned as best of their time.

MFC     February 02
Bob S, I think "the Stallion" passed away, "bingo baby". Loved his spots on local tv in OC. He was the best. (If he passed, which I think he did, hope I'm wrong)



SUCH, I think there's a lot of "free" money around. Given the gambling and the future cannabis revenue. That's why no taxes raised in state of state speech. I think that's where the piggy bank is. I'm fine on the expenditure if it keeps the O's in town.

Such     February 02
I'm beginning to have serious doubts about this Angelos fella who has taken unilateral control of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball Club.

I'm not an English professor, so I had to look up "paradigm", which it turns out is defined as "a typical example or pattern of something; a model". I also had to re-read his quote a few times to try and deconstruct all of the PR farm byproduct contained therein.

I'm not entirely sure how a guy who has been Governor of the state for less than a month has "the vision and commitment" to revitalize Downtown Baltimore by pumping a half a billion dollars into a baseball park, but I'm fairly certain I could do a lot of good with that kind of public money too. Call me a cynic while you get off my lawn.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't get the warm and fuzzies from Angelos fils. He strikes me as entitled and condescending. At least his old man was a civic benefactor who actually spent his time in the city. This guy will be laughing all the way to the bank in Nashville with his loot.

The sooner the organization is sold, the better. I realize what that's contingent upon, and I'm not rooting for it, but it will be a better day for this team and its fans when a new ownership group is running things.

Unitastoberry     February 02
Unitas played in 5 title games. He lost 2 won 3. In SB 3 he was about 55% came off the bench(Throwing arm elbow Tendonitis) for Morrall halfway in the 3rd quarter moved the team and threw an interception in the end zone. His 40239 passing yards from 1955-1973 is equivelent to 80000-90000 today. 3 time MVP. I never liked Brady until he got old. He was a stud stat wise and championship wise. Yes he did benefit from numerous rule changes, longer seasons,better surgical techniques, year round training, and huge mega million dollar deals. Unitas has none of that. After his torn up and civil war style knee surgery he started to go south along with a torn achilles, and nagging tendonitits and no doubt arthritis. The man was beaten to a pulp. But I have to say those 7 rings Brady has along with the stats and MVPs makes him the goat. But hear this youngsters. Unitas is still the best pro QB Baltimore has ever had and his last snap on 33rd street was in 1972. Half a century ago.

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
Because he played on the Patriots, anytime they played the Ravens I wanted to see Brady getting up after each play looking through his ear hole. But at the tail of his career there and especially with TB, I came to appreciate his level of performance. It may not be in the category of Cal's consecutive game streak and or Cy Young's 511 wins but it's quite remarkable what he's done and I just don't see another QB winning 7 SBs and also breaking his records for passing yards and TD passes.

Speaking of Super Bowl? I'm sure you all heard of the ticket prices to attend this year. I really enjoy attending a couple Ravens games per year and obviously root hard for them to win but there is no way I'm ever paying that type of money for a ticket... plus airfare, hotel, food, drinks. For a football game? No chance. Well, unless I win the mega-millions. Like I said, no chance.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     February 02
Drew, it's great to see you bringing Bobby Vermillion and "Endless Golf" on at DMD!

Now all you need to do is get Bobby's old partner "The Stallion" on board for his gambling picks!

lou@palo alto     February 02
there is no comparing the modern QB position to Johnny U: can't hit the QB or receiver, OL w different rules, 12 games per yr & call your own plays, too many teams--fyi

larry     February 02
A for profit business being all about the money, say it ain't so! Why in the world would the Orioles, or the Ravens, want only to be "a good citizen"? Newsflash, they are business entities, NOT citizens!

@MFC is correct too. The city needs to revitalize inner harbor back into the crown jewel it used to be, and with Port Covington development, the whole downtown area, including Canton, Fells Point, Fed Hill, etc could generate an insane amount of economic activity. But, you have to make the city safe. At least that part of the city.

Is this mayor up for that? He wants to remember his roots and all, but part of making the city safe is doing things his political party likes to be "outraged" about. Do they have the stones to crack down on things past administrations seemingly turned a blind eye to? And face the wrath of the "outrage for profit" crowd? I sure hope so, cause Baltimore could certainly use an economic revitalization and all the jobs that comes with. What better way to help your impoverished citizens?

Delray Rick     February 02
BRADY the BABE RUTH of football

Jason M     February 02
Brady was the best I ever got to watch, and like #52, I feel privileged that we got to watch one of the all time greats do his thing. I used to hate him for being such a Raven Killer, but hell after awhile you need to give credit where credit is due, and I have probably spent the last decade of his career as an admirer. The stats on his durability are a great and not often cited insight - no missed games for injury since 2008 - Brady is Iron Man.



I think you'll see big crowds at Fan Fest this weekend. I am bullish on the future of the city, 3 James Beard nominated restaurants, Broadway productions at the Hippo, MLB at the Yard and NFL across the way. You're not getting that in Westminster, Columbia or Frederick, as safe as those places are.

MFC     February 02
We have a complex 2 blocks away called the inner harbor, which is supposed to have a major makeover. Port Covington is advancing rapidly, lets take advantage of that. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area. What we need is a safe city. Let's solve that. No squeegee "kids", lots of police presence to feel safe walking the city. People will go downtown if they feel safe.

And let's get the players to be involved in the city. A major outreach program would do miracles and not just with the Oriole Bird.

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Call me cynical but this new Camden Yard complex will be finished when the rebuilt Pimlico Race Course is completed.

Our refurbished downtown arena is going to still be an outdated facility.

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 02
Im surprised idiots online continue to fall for the Os moving nonsense. The Sun perfectly outlined why it behooves the Os not to sign a 5 yr lease causing unfavorable provisions to roll over, plus the 600 mil coming their way let alone the 3 or 4 billion sale price in 2 or 3 years or the fact that MLB has blocked SF, Oak, TB and everybody else thats tried to move without permission the last 70 years. Os are proving the old saying youll never go broke betting on the American public's gullibility.

Vince     February 01
Brady done?....

Or is his movie tanking and this is a ploy to get folks in the theater?

Stats Nerd     February 01
@Howard everything I have heard seems to indicate Exclusive. The consensus seems to be that he is worth more than simply the 2 1sts that non-exclusive carries with it. Of course they could use non-exclusive and still trade him for more than the 2 firsts but it's maybe not as clean

Howard     February 01
Which franchise tag for Lamar? I would favor the non-exclusive tag. If he signs a reasonable contract with another team the Ravens can match it. If the Ravens do not want to match it, they get number one picks in 2023 and 2024. Most importantly, if no one offers him, his 2023 salary is $32 million rather than $45 million, meaning that EDC would not have to blow up the team in order to get under the cap

David Rosenfeld     February 01
Dale as you said the home/road FT disparity is hardly new. Nor is the fact that teams play better at home. I just think some of the stretches the team has had on the road have been horrendous. By the time it's 21-4 or 17-4 or 25-11 or whatever, it's hard to even take the stats for the rest of the game seriously.

I think you hit the nail on the head about last night. Seems silly to say 18 pts and 20 rebounds is making it hard on a guy but it really was...it's a team game that requires a lot more than one guy to win.

hal     February 01
What exactly does "open their books" even mean? So many fans just parrot the media in that regard, what specific financial data do people want to see. More importantly, how much true financial data would a fan or media member even understand?

Ala the BP lunatic, people think they will easily see "that crooked family made two billion $ over the last 10 years" and then pretend "they coulda bought baseball players with that money". These are the same people who say Bisciotti "made" $3B because he paid 750K for Ravens and they could be sold for $4B now.

As for moving, if the O's don't sign a long term lease and eventually move, we need to hold Mayor Scott and Gov Moore accountable. John A claims these two as "personal friends", so how can a lease extension not already be done? I am aware Irsay flat out lied to Schaefer years ago, but Billy Don never claimed that drunken stooge was a personal friend of his, this would be way worse than what happened in 1984. Media should stop chasing Angelos and start chasing B Scott.

Such     February 01
Of more interest than "opening the books" (HaHaHa!) is whether John Angelos signs the one-year lease extension by the end of today. That will be the best indicator of his intentions about the future of the Orioles in Baltimore. His reluctance to do so has me thinking that the Nashville rumors might have some fire and not just smoke.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I can see a scenario where the Orioles go to Nashville and the Oakland A's move here. When billionaires are involved, anything is possible.

Jason M     February 01
They should have a special accounting area set up at fan fest where the P&L can be viewed and audited. They could have the fans get interactive and track how much of their cash made it to the teams bottom line. Talk about interactive and fun for the whole family!

lou@palo alto     February 01
yes, spy is better having played both many times. will be at pebble tho this sat, walking around the turn where u can see holes 8-13--by far the best walking holes for fans

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Youre right Larry. Im only right when i bet the opposite of what Dale predicts. Im not a hater im a thanker!!

CIK     February 01
Dale provides excellent coverage of Terps basketball. His coverage and analysis is thorough and thoughtful. But to say he is hitting 80% winners is preposterous. Just because you write a nice blog doesn’t mean you are “sharp” when picking games.

MFC     February 01
Agree 100% on the Spyglass take, a much better and significantly harder course.



Picking basketball scores might be the hardest of all there are so many variables. Dales does a great job with his reporting and insight how about just enjoying that. If you're placing bets based on his projections the fault lies with you, not him.



TB 12 ruined his marriage for that season?

Josh     February 01
Tom Brady “retiring…for good”. Sure, we’ll see about that

Frank D     February 01
Sooooo - now we can sign Tom Brady for one year and win us another SB??????

Unitastoberry     February 01
As for Angelo's LLC aka Oriole's books. A bird told flew in the window at the warehouse and reported that despite virtually paying nobody but Chris Davis since 1997 they have made a billion plus and paid very little in taxes. The bird was then eaten by a hungry hawk. No further details are available. Remember feed your feathered friends in the cold weather months.

Larry     February 01
Eric in Gaithersburg has never been wrong. Don't you guys all know that?

Creston     February 01
I have followed Dale Williams since he started writing here and I'd put his hoops knowledge up against any of you clowns who criticize him for his predictions.

He probably gets 80% of the games/outcomes right but you clowns only worry about the 20%. Go back to your moms basement clowns and let the basketball guy handle the basketball analysis. Great job Dale!

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Dale wrong as usual! He should do a radio show with Cowherd and Francesa. Backaftathis twitter account would commit suicide from over work. Meanwhile the lame played out Michael Jordan twitter memes from "Turgeon" have oddly disappeared. Never understood that lame flex- look at the new guy failing to dig out the mess i left him? Willard not only deserves coach of the year he also currently 18th ranked recruiting class. Brighter days finally here

Delray RICK     February 01
Read on internet bout KELCE Brothers from their mom when they grew up. HILARIOUS!!

Kevin     January 31
Another spot on prediction by #Dale.

Jk     January 31
Drew......back on the radio. He just announced on Twitter. Welcome back Drew.

hal     January 31
SOD loyalists "RC" and "Geno" must have missed the part where DMD also stated quite clearly that MSJ most certainly did NOT "run up the score" vs CHC. MFC might be being kind saying those guys need a session or two of RC 101, they might need new eyeglasses!

TimD in Timonium     January 31
@Hank, you are correct, sir. LB Roquan Smith has no agent. I thought I'd read he did have one last August, but I'm mistaken. No agent. Got the deal done.

Bobby     January 31
@CIK maybe you should have just stopped at.....



" Nobody knows because Lamar doesn’t put much out there."

Monday
January 30, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3080


it doesn't happen often


The two best teams are playing in the Super Bowl in 13 days.

It doesn't happen that way all that often, so enjoy it, football fans.

The Eagles were the class of the NFC all season and even more so in their two home playoff games.

And despite losing to the Bengals in the regular season, the Chiefs were still the best team in the AFC. And even though yesterday's AFC title game victory wasn't nearly as emphatic as what the Eagles did to the 49'ers, K.C. is, at least to this observer, a smidgen better than Cincinnati overall.

Andy Reid and the Chiefs won their third AFC title in the last five years last night, beating the Bengals 23-20 on a last second field goal.

So we'll get the best vs. the best in Glendale, Arizona on February 12.

You'll probably hear about this a few times between now and then, so let me give you the story lines.

Andy Reid used to coach the Eagles. Now he coaches the Chiefs. Reid was often accused of choking in the playoffs when he was in Philadelphia. "Can't win the big one" the critics used to say.

Now, he's headed back to his 3rd Super Bowl with the Chiefs and looking for his 2nd championship ring. Not that this was in dispute before yesterday's win over the Bengals, but Andy Reid will someday be in the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. A dozen years ago, that statement would have been laughed at in Philadelphia.

The Eagles have a Kelce and so, too, do the Chiefs. You're going to hear about "the brothers" a lot, just like you did in 2013 when one Harbaugh coached the Ravens and the other one coached the 49'ers. If you're the kind of person who gets aggravated at stories that get run into the ground, you should probably skip a lot of the pre-game coverage of the Super Bowl.

The two quarterbacks will also be center stage, as Patrick Mahomes looks to further cement -- if that's possible -- his legacy as one of the league's all-time best signal callers. Again, like Reid, Mahomes' status as a Hall of Famer is not even in question at this point. He'll also be in Canton someday. But another Super Bowl win for him and he'll have as many as Peyton, Big Ben and Eli.

Jalen Hurts, who might very well be the MVP of the league this season, gets his first crack at establishing a career legacy by not only winning a Super Bowl, but beating Mahomes in the process of doing so.

The game should be a good one on February 12. Both teams are there because they deserve to be there, even though there were certainly elements of last night's Chiefs-Bengals game that were questionable.

But, as I say all the time, there are bad calls and missed calls in every quarter of every NFL game. That a few of them might have worked against the Bengals in the fourth quarter last night is part and parcel of the game being close and those calls, specifically, appearing as if they helped decide the game.

Had the Bengals scored touchdowns in the first half instead of field goals, those late game calls might not have mattered all that much.

But give Cincinnati credit. They pummeled the Bills in Buffalo and then took the Chiefs down to the wire last night in Kansas City. The AFC North is clearly seeing a changing of the guard. The Browns are no factor, the Steelers are battling to stay relevant and the Ravens are trying to figure out who will quarterback their team in 2023.

And Baltimore, as we all know, is also going through an offensive coordinator search. They've requested permission to speak with several candidates and one person they're interested in, Kellen Moore, became available yesterday after the Cowboys let him go.

The Bengals, at least for the next couple of years while they still have Burrow and their young receivers, will be a tough out in the AFC North.

That said, as long as Mahomes is in charge in Kansas City, the AFC will likely go through Arrowhead Stadium. He's an enormous talent and, as we've seen over the last five seasons, the game is never over when you play the Chiefs until the clock hits 00:00.

Mahomes can make lemonade out of two lemons even when the recipe calls for four of them. He's a quarterbacking machine. And let's not forget, the Chiefs took away his best wide receiver option this year when they dealt Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins. And Mahomes and Kansas City didn't bat an eye.

They're headed back to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs are closing in on dynasty territory in the AFC and they have their coach and quarterback to thank for that.


Rory McIlroy won and Patrick Reed might have very well been caught cheating again. What else do you want if you're a golf fan?

Reed threw a major scare into McIlroy in the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic this morning, firing a 7-under 65 and momentarily wrestling the lead from McIlroy before making a costly bogey at the 16th hole.

The American, who now makes his living playing hit-and-giggle golf on the LIV circuit, made birdie at the 18th hole to force McIlroy to do the same thing some 15 minutes later.

These two rivals are poised to have a season of fun after Rory nipped Patrick Reed by one shot in Dubai today.

And that he did, as Rory finished off a tense final hour of play with a 14-foot birdie put at the 72nd hole to win the event at 19-under par, one better than Reed.

Monday's dazzling play from Reed and McIlroy's final hole triumph were overshadowed by yet another Reed-created rules controversy and this one, I'm afraid, won't go away anytime soon.

During the 3rd round on Sunday at the 17th hole, Reed flailed his drive out to the right of the fairway. His ball never came down after clattering into a set of trees and when Reed approached the area, marshals and spectators pointed to a tree where, they said, his ball entered and never fell to the ground.

Reed then took a set of binoculars from a marshal and identified his ball. For good measure, he told a rules official to confirm that it was his ball by checking for the marking on the ball that Reed (and all golfers) placed on the ball for identification purposes.

The marshal confirmed that the markings Reed claimed to have put on his ball were, in fact, on that ball in the tree. Instead of having to take a stroke-and-distance penalty for a lost ball, Reed was allowed a free drop without penalty at the spot on the ground closest to where the ball entered the tree.

All is well, right? Rules were followed, Reed was "correct" and there's nothing to see here. Right?

Of course not.

Because TV replays showed Reed's ball entering and staying in a different tree than the one he says he confirmed ("100 percent") with the rules official.

This, obviously, became fodder for Reed's most ardent critic, Brandel Chamblee of the Golf Channel, who posted the video on his Twitter account last night and then showed the sequence over and over on the "news" portion of the Golf Channel's Sunday evening programming.

If it had happened to anyone else, I doubt there's a moment of concern or review after the fact.

But when it's Reed, there's always suspicion. He's never given the benefit of the doubt. And he did that to himself, of course, with countless brushes with rules violations, including the one that most people point to as the worst of them all at last year's Farmer's Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

Reed has his defense for the Dubai incident already mapped out. Marshals and spectators told him the ball entered the third of three trees next to the fairway.

Armed with that information, Reed then used binoculars to identify his ball, with an arrow near the putting line the manufacturer puts on that specific type of golf ball. No one actually knows if, in fact, Reed actually marked his ball in the manner in which he said he did. What we do know is he looked up into the tree, saw a ball with a marking on it, and then told the rules official to confirm it with the binoculars.

Just like he did last year at Torrey Pines, Reed carefully plotted his way through the entire incident.

Except now we know his ball went into the first tree, not the third three.

And we have yet another story to add to Patrick Reed's list of suspicious activities.

Further, we have the makings of a seriously interesting season of golf fun if McIlroy and Reed continue their excellent play.

It's a shame Reed took the LIV blood money last year, thereby eliminating himself from the Ryder Cup. A Reed-Rory meeting in Italy later this year would have been extraordinarily compelling.

Instead, we'll just have to hope the two somehow tangle at Augusta National in April or at one of the other three major championships in 2023.

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#dmd comments








larry     February 03
Duke coach is making a stink and blaming "the world" for that mix up?? If the players didn't notice after one or two possessions, well not sure what to say there. That Duke team must stink if it took 20 minutes of play to realize they had the wrong ball.

hank     February 03
Hard to decide who is the bigger curmudgeon these days, @MFC or @UTB. @UTB, we are from the same generation, and I used to b*tch and moan about a lot of the stuff that you do as well, then finally decided WTH am I doing? We are on the back 9 brother, find things that you enjoy, that make you happy, and focus on those things. Leave all the bellyaching to the young twitter dopes who think they know everything! None of them know even 20% of what us old farts know. God bless brother!

Unitastoberry     February 03
Thanks CIK. Forgot about sleeve ball Al Davis. Perhaps it's time for a MLB owner to challenge the league on franchise relocation? Maybe Fredo is working with Hyman Roth on that? Lol

Ken     February 03
Five predictions from Drew's lead article today.



1. Ravens sign Lamar to 3 year $140 million deal that's all guaranteed.

2. Canales of Seattle is the new O.C.

3. Caps make playoffs lose in first round to Carolina.

4. Tiger wins a tournament this year but not a major and then retires.

5. Terps are a 4 seed in NCAA tourney and lose in 2nd round.

Joe     February 03
The Wizards are wildly inconsistent this year, going 3-14 during one stretch along with a 4, a 5, and a 6 game winning streak. They are a better team than last year, as Kristaps Porzingis has been relatively injury free and Bradley Beal has actually started distributing the basketball. Kyle Kuzma is a legit scorer, but also a pending free agent so he could possibly be traded by next week's deadline. They did trade Rui Hachimura two weeks ago to the Lakers, who was a solid player but literally doesn't pass the ball, averaging less than an assist per game in over 20 minutes a game (which is hard to do).



I have been a fan since the Baltimore Bullet days, and miss the success of Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes ...

CIK     February 03
@David R

The fact that nobody could immediately feel the difference in the ball is puzzling. My guess is they were using the correct ball. As soon as you play with a women’s ball, you realize it’s much easier to handle and shoot.

CIK     February 03
@U2B

I am sure the NFL has the same language in the owners contracts. The problem is that Al Davis challenged that and beat the NFL in court. So there is precedent to move and not have to get “approval”.

David Rosenfeld     February 03
Wanted to comment about the first thing in the Breakfast Bytes. The Duke coach says that "this would never happen in a men's game." I've actually seen it happen, the teams realized after a minute that they were using a women's ball, and the ball was switched. She said cryptically that "you can figure out who the people are" that failed in this situation. Can you? It could have been a variety of things...like, there is an entire rack of balls for warmups, were they all women's balls and did this get put into the rack by accident? The person who brings the rack out onto the court might be a 19-year-old team manager or a random facilities person. I've never seen a game where the refs don't check the ball before the game. They didn't notice? Seems a bit odd, and something to kind of laugh about in retrospect instead of making a federal case about.

TimD in Timonium     February 03
Regular updates & news about The Wiz? Yawn. Pass.



I'm not an NBA guy, but I have been watching LeBron play lately. Averaging 30 a night and is a week away from becoming the all-time NBA scoring leader. Amazing.



Orioles. Caps. College lax. (Almost) March Madness. Plenty of good stuff to see / talk about.




MFC     February 03
Dog days, you could be a Tar Heel fan and watch the #1 ranked team (first week) fall out of the top 25 and "may" not get an NCAA bid. The NIL "sponsors" want their money back. Not to worry as Bacot rides around Chapel Hill in his Carolina Blue Audi Q8. Also, an interesting article in the NY Times about the NIL and how it's siphoning off $$$ that used to go directly into the general funds of athletic programs. And how about Alabama football where a d-back wanted $800,000 to play there and Nick said, "this may not be the right school for you".But his QB got a million, it pays to be an offensive player, especially QB.



Lady Terps got beat in IOWA last night as this kid Clark goes off for 42, she is a player. Game ended after 11, how are those 9 AM classes going today?



I'm so sick and tired of these basketball officials going to the replay for everything. Dragging the games down. I know it's important to get the call right but it's really getting out of hand.

Unitastoberry     February 03
So NFL teams can move whenever and MLB teams have to get the other owners approval. That's interesting. What's also interesting is that most MLB owners hate Angelos because he backed a union work stoppage but he's not anything about paying players top money since the Albert Belle fiasco. He's a hypocrite. They ruined baseball for me and others in my age group during the prime of my life in Baltimore. This nucleus of draft picks now will end up like the mid 90s and mid 2010s nucleus. Sold off unless there's a new owner.

Karl     February 03
Cleveland has 3 teams, Philly , Washington, but yet this town barely can sustain NFL and MLB and complain that UMD doesnt market here….bottom 5 in attendance for MLB- a wonder why any business owner would not move to Nashville- and NFL didnt want to be here….if attendance to games falter ….will their reasoning be true….at least we have the Ironbirds and Ferrous!

lou@palo alto     February 02
Ah, Steve--# 32 Browns, 19 Colts-livin the dream!!!

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Comparing players from different eras is not feasible .Jim Brown from the 1960s is considered by many to be the greatest running back of all time,; however he never faced linebackers with 4.5 speed .His cutback style against the grain like they did in those days doesn't fly in today's game

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
@U2B- I was 6 when Johnny U took his last snap on 33rd street so I never got to see him play. I would have liked to. But you and @Lou are correct, it is apples to peaches when comparing the Brady football era with the Johnny U football era. What I don't think can be argued very far is the statement, they both reigned as best of their time.

MFC     February 02
Bob S, I think "the Stallion" passed away, "bingo baby". Loved his spots on local tv in OC. He was the best. (If he passed, which I think he did, hope I'm wrong)



SUCH, I think there's a lot of "free" money around. Given the gambling and the future cannabis revenue. That's why no taxes raised in state of state speech. I think that's where the piggy bank is. I'm fine on the expenditure if it keeps the O's in town.

Such     February 02
I'm beginning to have serious doubts about this Angelos fella who has taken unilateral control of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball Club.

I'm not an English professor, so I had to look up "paradigm", which it turns out is defined as "a typical example or pattern of something; a model". I also had to re-read his quote a few times to try and deconstruct all of the PR farm byproduct contained therein.

I'm not entirely sure how a guy who has been Governor of the state for less than a month has "the vision and commitment" to revitalize Downtown Baltimore by pumping a half a billion dollars into a baseball park, but I'm fairly certain I could do a lot of good with that kind of public money too. Call me a cynic while you get off my lawn.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't get the warm and fuzzies from Angelos fils. He strikes me as entitled and condescending. At least his old man was a civic benefactor who actually spent his time in the city. This guy will be laughing all the way to the bank in Nashville with his loot.

The sooner the organization is sold, the better. I realize what that's contingent upon, and I'm not rooting for it, but it will be a better day for this team and its fans when a new ownership group is running things.

Unitastoberry     February 02
Unitas played in 5 title games. He lost 2 won 3. In SB 3 he was about 55% came off the bench(Throwing arm elbow Tendonitis) for Morrall halfway in the 3rd quarter moved the team and threw an interception in the end zone. His 40239 passing yards from 1955-1973 is equivelent to 80000-90000 today. 3 time MVP. I never liked Brady until he got old. He was a stud stat wise and championship wise. Yes he did benefit from numerous rule changes, longer seasons,better surgical techniques, year round training, and huge mega million dollar deals. Unitas has none of that. After his torn up and civil war style knee surgery he started to go south along with a torn achilles, and nagging tendonitits and no doubt arthritis. The man was beaten to a pulp. But I have to say those 7 rings Brady has along with the stats and MVPs makes him the goat. But hear this youngsters. Unitas is still the best pro QB Baltimore has ever had and his last snap on 33rd street was in 1972. Half a century ago.

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
Because he played on the Patriots, anytime they played the Ravens I wanted to see Brady getting up after each play looking through his ear hole. But at the tail of his career there and especially with TB, I came to appreciate his level of performance. It may not be in the category of Cal's consecutive game streak and or Cy Young's 511 wins but it's quite remarkable what he's done and I just don't see another QB winning 7 SBs and also breaking his records for passing yards and TD passes.

Speaking of Super Bowl? I'm sure you all heard of the ticket prices to attend this year. I really enjoy attending a couple Ravens games per year and obviously root hard for them to win but there is no way I'm ever paying that type of money for a ticket... plus airfare, hotel, food, drinks. For a football game? No chance. Well, unless I win the mega-millions. Like I said, no chance.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     February 02
Drew, it's great to see you bringing Bobby Vermillion and "Endless Golf" on at DMD!

Now all you need to do is get Bobby's old partner "The Stallion" on board for his gambling picks!

lou@palo alto     February 02
there is no comparing the modern QB position to Johnny U: can't hit the QB or receiver, OL w different rules, 12 games per yr & call your own plays, too many teams--fyi

larry     February 02
A for profit business being all about the money, say it ain't so! Why in the world would the Orioles, or the Ravens, want only to be "a good citizen"? Newsflash, they are business entities, NOT citizens!

@MFC is correct too. The city needs to revitalize inner harbor back into the crown jewel it used to be, and with Port Covington development, the whole downtown area, including Canton, Fells Point, Fed Hill, etc could generate an insane amount of economic activity. But, you have to make the city safe. At least that part of the city.

Is this mayor up for that? He wants to remember his roots and all, but part of making the city safe is doing things his political party likes to be "outraged" about. Do they have the stones to crack down on things past administrations seemingly turned a blind eye to? And face the wrath of the "outrage for profit" crowd? I sure hope so, cause Baltimore could certainly use an economic revitalization and all the jobs that comes with. What better way to help your impoverished citizens?

Delray Rick     February 02
BRADY the BABE RUTH of football

Jason M     February 02
Brady was the best I ever got to watch, and like #52, I feel privileged that we got to watch one of the all time greats do his thing. I used to hate him for being such a Raven Killer, but hell after awhile you need to give credit where credit is due, and I have probably spent the last decade of his career as an admirer. The stats on his durability are a great and not often cited insight - no missed games for injury since 2008 - Brady is Iron Man.



I think you'll see big crowds at Fan Fest this weekend. I am bullish on the future of the city, 3 James Beard nominated restaurants, Broadway productions at the Hippo, MLB at the Yard and NFL across the way. You're not getting that in Westminster, Columbia or Frederick, as safe as those places are.

MFC     February 02
We have a complex 2 blocks away called the inner harbor, which is supposed to have a major makeover. Port Covington is advancing rapidly, lets take advantage of that. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area. What we need is a safe city. Let's solve that. No squeegee "kids", lots of police presence to feel safe walking the city. People will go downtown if they feel safe.

And let's get the players to be involved in the city. A major outreach program would do miracles and not just with the Oriole Bird.

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Call me cynical but this new Camden Yard complex will be finished when the rebuilt Pimlico Race Course is completed.

Our refurbished downtown arena is going to still be an outdated facility.

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 02
Im surprised idiots online continue to fall for the Os moving nonsense. The Sun perfectly outlined why it behooves the Os not to sign a 5 yr lease causing unfavorable provisions to roll over, plus the 600 mil coming their way let alone the 3 or 4 billion sale price in 2 or 3 years or the fact that MLB has blocked SF, Oak, TB and everybody else thats tried to move without permission the last 70 years. Os are proving the old saying youll never go broke betting on the American public's gullibility.

Vince     February 01
Brady done?....

Or is his movie tanking and this is a ploy to get folks in the theater?

Stats Nerd     February 01
@Howard everything I have heard seems to indicate Exclusive. The consensus seems to be that he is worth more than simply the 2 1sts that non-exclusive carries with it. Of course they could use non-exclusive and still trade him for more than the 2 firsts but it's maybe not as clean

Howard     February 01
Which franchise tag for Lamar? I would favor the non-exclusive tag. If he signs a reasonable contract with another team the Ravens can match it. If the Ravens do not want to match it, they get number one picks in 2023 and 2024. Most importantly, if no one offers him, his 2023 salary is $32 million rather than $45 million, meaning that EDC would not have to blow up the team in order to get under the cap

David Rosenfeld     February 01
Dale as you said the home/road FT disparity is hardly new. Nor is the fact that teams play better at home. I just think some of the stretches the team has had on the road have been horrendous. By the time it's 21-4 or 17-4 or 25-11 or whatever, it's hard to even take the stats for the rest of the game seriously.

I think you hit the nail on the head about last night. Seems silly to say 18 pts and 20 rebounds is making it hard on a guy but it really was...it's a team game that requires a lot more than one guy to win.

hal     February 01
What exactly does "open their books" even mean? So many fans just parrot the media in that regard, what specific financial data do people want to see. More importantly, how much true financial data would a fan or media member even understand?

Ala the BP lunatic, people think they will easily see "that crooked family made two billion $ over the last 10 years" and then pretend "they coulda bought baseball players with that money". These are the same people who say Bisciotti "made" $3B because he paid 750K for Ravens and they could be sold for $4B now.

As for moving, if the O's don't sign a long term lease and eventually move, we need to hold Mayor Scott and Gov Moore accountable. John A claims these two as "personal friends", so how can a lease extension not already be done? I am aware Irsay flat out lied to Schaefer years ago, but Billy Don never claimed that drunken stooge was a personal friend of his, this would be way worse than what happened in 1984. Media should stop chasing Angelos and start chasing B Scott.

Such     February 01
Of more interest than "opening the books" (HaHaHa!) is whether John Angelos signs the one-year lease extension by the end of today. That will be the best indicator of his intentions about the future of the Orioles in Baltimore. His reluctance to do so has me thinking that the Nashville rumors might have some fire and not just smoke.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I can see a scenario where the Orioles go to Nashville and the Oakland A's move here. When billionaires are involved, anything is possible.

Jason M     February 01
They should have a special accounting area set up at fan fest where the P&L can be viewed and audited. They could have the fans get interactive and track how much of their cash made it to the teams bottom line. Talk about interactive and fun for the whole family!

lou@palo alto     February 01
yes, spy is better having played both many times. will be at pebble tho this sat, walking around the turn where u can see holes 8-13--by far the best walking holes for fans

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Youre right Larry. Im only right when i bet the opposite of what Dale predicts. Im not a hater im a thanker!!

CIK     February 01
Dale provides excellent coverage of Terps basketball. His coverage and analysis is thorough and thoughtful. But to say he is hitting 80% winners is preposterous. Just because you write a nice blog doesn’t mean you are “sharp” when picking games.

MFC     February 01
Agree 100% on the Spyglass take, a much better and significantly harder course.



Picking basketball scores might be the hardest of all there are so many variables. Dales does a great job with his reporting and insight how about just enjoying that. If you're placing bets based on his projections the fault lies with you, not him.



TB 12 ruined his marriage for that season?

Josh     February 01
Tom Brady “retiring…for good”. Sure, we’ll see about that

Frank D     February 01
Sooooo - now we can sign Tom Brady for one year and win us another SB??????

Unitastoberry     February 01
As for Angelo's LLC aka Oriole's books. A bird told flew in the window at the warehouse and reported that despite virtually paying nobody but Chris Davis since 1997 they have made a billion plus and paid very little in taxes. The bird was then eaten by a hungry hawk. No further details are available. Remember feed your feathered friends in the cold weather months.

Larry     February 01
Eric in Gaithersburg has never been wrong. Don't you guys all know that?

Creston     February 01
I have followed Dale Williams since he started writing here and I'd put his hoops knowledge up against any of you clowns who criticize him for his predictions.

He probably gets 80% of the games/outcomes right but you clowns only worry about the 20%. Go back to your moms basement clowns and let the basketball guy handle the basketball analysis. Great job Dale!

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Dale wrong as usual! He should do a radio show with Cowherd and Francesa. Backaftathis twitter account would commit suicide from over work. Meanwhile the lame played out Michael Jordan twitter memes from "Turgeon" have oddly disappeared. Never understood that lame flex- look at the new guy failing to dig out the mess i left him? Willard not only deserves coach of the year he also currently 18th ranked recruiting class. Brighter days finally here

Delray RICK     February 01
Read on internet bout KELCE Brothers from their mom when they grew up. HILARIOUS!!

Kevin     January 31
Another spot on prediction by #Dale.

Jk     January 31
Drew......back on the radio. He just announced on Twitter. Welcome back Drew.

hal     January 31
SOD loyalists "RC" and "Geno" must have missed the part where DMD also stated quite clearly that MSJ most certainly did NOT "run up the score" vs CHC. MFC might be being kind saying those guys need a session or two of RC 101, they might need new eyeglasses!

TimD in Timonium     January 31
@Hank, you are correct, sir. LB Roquan Smith has no agent. I thought I'd read he did have one last August, but I'm mistaken. No agent. Got the deal done.

Bobby     January 31
@CIK maybe you should have just stopped at.....



" Nobody knows because Lamar doesn’t put much out there."

Sunday
January 29, 2023
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#3079


things are brewing


As far as "rivalries" go in professional golf, what's starting to blossom between Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed couldn't come at a better time.

We're not even to February yet and those two are dry needling one another like there's no tomorrow.

This all started last year when Reed and his team of lawyers sued the PGA Tour, Golf Channel, several media members and a handful of TOUR superstars, McIlroy among them. Reed asserts an anti-trust violation by the PGA Tour as it relates to his move to LIV Golf and he somehow involved Rory, Tiger and Justin Thomas after the three of them were part of a player's only meeting in Delaware last August.

Who is at the center of golf's biggest controversy right now? Surprise, surprise, it's Patrick Reed.

McIlroy was enjoying Christmas Eve dinner at home with his family in Florida when his papers were served at his doorstep. There's dirty pool and then there's that. Merry Christmas, Rory.

So, this past Wednesday in Dubai, Reed approached McIlroy on the practice tee to exchange pleasantries. He shook the hand of Rory's caddie and then stood next to McIlroy, who was kneeling next to his Trackman data device looking at numbers he was generating.

McIlroy never flinched. Never moved. Never even bothered to acknowledge the former Masters champion and golf's most well-known rules bender.

Reed playfully flipped a tee at McIlroy and strolled off. Contrary to reports, Reed didn't "throw" a tee at McIlroy. He wasn't trying to injure him or anything like that. It was playful. But the internet exploded with the incident and "TeeGate" was born.

Because he lives in this bizarre world where he constantly feels aggrieved, Reed instantly became the victim.

"All I was trying to do was be nice and say hi," Reed said afterwards. "Rory wouldn't even look up at me."

I wonder why?

Could it be that Rory didn't want to do the usual pre-tournament meet-and-greet WITH A GUY WHO IS SUING HIM???

Yeah, that's probably it.

Reed, of course, continued to play the victim role when interviewed throughout the early stages of the tournament. He even made a remark about Rory being "childish", which seems like an interesting thing for someone to say who is seen on video tossing a tee at a fellow player as if to say, "Ha ha, I got you!"

McIlroy is everything Reed wants to be, which probably explains where some of the angst comes from.

Rory is an international needle mover in the world of golf, probably second in popularity only to Tiger Woods.

Reed and the word "popular" never collide in the same sentence.

McIlroy plays by the rules. Reed, as we all know, does not.

Fellow players revere McIlroy. Reed could fit his TOUR friends in a SUV.

Rory stuck with the PGA Tour when Greg Norman and the heinous group funding LIV waved their money around last year.

Reed couldn't wait to scoop up the cash and join forces with the Saudis.

All of that was fine, actually. Players make business decisions. Some golfers decided to earn money in golf by earning it on the course. Others decided to scoop up the dirty Saudi money and just play golf for the fun of it.

That Reed was one of those who signed on with LIV isn't a surprise in the least. He's always tried to skirt the edge of decency, going back to his days at the University of Georgia, when he was dismissed from the team for allegedly changing his score not once, but twice during a qualifying event for a college tournament.

It was the lawsuit that turned everyone against Reed once and for all.

For a while, players tolerated him. Media members wrote about him only when the leaderboard forced them to do so.

Then, suddenly, word leaked out that Reed was suing everyone he could for an anti-trust violation, essentially clamining he should be allowed to compete on both the PGA and LIV tours and that people like Rory, Tiger, J.T. and others were playing a role in Reed being "squeezed out" of the PGA Tour by organizing clandestine meetings designed to reward players who stay on the PGA Tour.

He even tried to sue Brandel Chamblee of the Golf Channel for calling him a "cheater" on the air.

That lawsuit was thrown out when the judge reviewing the case realized Reed is, in fact, a cheater.

So much for holding the media accountable, I suppose. Occasionally, even they get it right.

Monday could have been beyond-epic had Reed held up his end of the bargain in Sunday's 3rd round, but he wasn't able to keep pace with McIlroy, who will enter tomorrow's final round with a 3-shot lead after a sizzling round of 7-under par 65 on Sunday.

But who knows what lies ahead this spring and summer? Reed might even cheat in an upcoming event and then we'll really have some legit drama.

No matter what transpires over the next 8 months or so, Reed vs. Rory isn't going away anytime soon. Golf needs a good old fashioned "wrestling skit" and it appears we have one unfolding right in front of us.


Speaking of "things brewing" in golf, Max Homa continued his explosive rise to the top of the golf world with a 2-shot win at Torrey Pines yesterday. Homa now has 4 wins in the last calendar year and is nearly a shoo-in for this year's U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Homa, to borrow a phrase, is a total rock star right now.

He's playing great golf, for starters, and he's a social media magnet, but in the right way. He jabs back and forth with his Twitter followers, grants podcast interviews with "regular people" and even did an in-tournament interview on Friday where he talked back and forth with CBS broadcasters while playing the 13th hole at Torrey Pins.

He's a cool, chill California kid who has developed a knack for being able to do something every golfer wishes he or she could do with regular success: Homa is a closer. When he gets the chance to win, he shuts the door on everyone else.

If you paid attention on Wednesday here at #DMD, we gave him to you as one of four to wager on to win at Torrey Pines. Sure, four of his six career wins have come in California, so once the TOUR shifts to the east coast in a couple of weeks his "heater" might diminish, but make no mistake about it: Homa is a legit star in the making and someone you should consider for a win-bet every time he's in the field.

He wouldn't be a bad early investment at Augusta National, although he's only made 1 of 3 previous cuts at the Masters and a T48 is his best finish there. His record in majors, overall, isn't all that impressive, with his best finish coming at last May's PGA Championship where he finished T13 at Southern Hills.

But this could be a breakout year for Homa, particularly given that the U.S. Open is in ---- yes, California. They'll be teeing it up at Los Angeles Country Club in June which, you should know, is where Homa won a big college tournament once upon a time. You'll hear a lot about "Homa" and "U.S. Open in California" leading up to the event, trust me on that.


Oh, yes, there's football being played today, as the Eagles-49'ers and Chiefs-Bengals play for all the marbles in the NFC and AFC respectively.

The storylines are obvious:

Joe Burrow and the Bengals...back to a second straight Super Bowl?

Philadelphia had the best season of any team and their quarterback, Jalen Hurts, is on the verge of earning lifetime free drinks and food in the City of Brotherly Love if he can lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl title.

Brock Purdy was the final player selected in last April's draft and the rookie QB is now one win away from an improbable trip to the Super Bowl. The player selected last in the draft is routinely called "Mr. Irrelevant" but Purdy is very relevant now that he's taken San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are playing in their fifth straight AFC title game today. That's really impressive. But they need a victory this evening against the Bengals or the whispers are going to increase in volume. "Mahomes can get you there, but......" Sure, the Chiefs won the Super Bowl a couple of years ago, but anyone can win one. Just ask Trent Dilfer or Joe Flacco.

And then you have the Bengals and their quarterback-on-the-rise, Joe Burrow. Depending on your view of things, Burrow is either the next coming of Joe Montana with his cool demeanor and penchant for delivering in the clutch or he's a snotty, overconfident brat who needs to lose today 37-10 to bring him back to earth. The Bengals, though? No matter what happens today, they're legit and will be a pre-season favorite in 2023.

Who wins?

Anything could happen today. This is 5 straight AFC title games at home for Kansas City. They lost the first one, won the next two, then fell at home to the Bengals last January. It seems unlikely they'd lose two in a row at home given what's on the line today, but Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce are both less than 100%.

Cincinnati has some injury issues of their own, but even losing two key offensive linemen hasn't slowed down Burrow and his plethora of talented pass catchers. And the Bengals defense did a masterful job in Buffalo last weekend, limiting Josh Allen and Company to just 10 points.

We're going with Cincinnati today, 31-23.

In the NFC, it seems like the only thing that can stop the Eagles is a team like the 49'ers, with a good defense and an opportunistic quarterback who is feeling his oats at just the right time in the season.

San Francisco's offense isn't all that great, as the Cowboys helped prove last weekend, but it's good enough to score two or three touchdowns and hang on for a win.

We'll take the 49'ers today, 24-20.

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terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


terps roast cornhuskers in college park


The Maryland Terrapins turned 14 Nebraska turnovers into 20 points, many of those being fast break points, and connected on 24 of 26 foul shots (92.3%) to hand Nebraska a decisive 82-63 defeat on Saturday at the XFINITY Center. The win lifted the Terps to .500 in the conference (5-5) while dropping the Cornhuskers to 3-8.

Only Juju Reese missed a Terrapin foul shot yesterday, going 0-2. The rest of the team was a perfect 24 for 24 including 9 for 9 from Jahmir Young and 7 for 7 for Hakim Hart.

Young paced all Maryland scorers with 18, while Don Carey (16, 4-4 from 3), Donta Scott (12, 4-14) Hart (11), and Patrick Emilien (10) also scored in double figures. Emilien also grabbed a team-high 7 rebounds in 25 minutes of action subbing for the foul plagued Reese.

It was a 1-point game with 8:19 left in the first half, but from that point on the Terrapins kept steadily increasing the lead. The Terp advantage peaked at 22 points, 78-56, with 4:02 left in the game.

Hakim Hart chipped in 11 points for Maryland on Saturday in their 82-63 win over Nebraska.

Maryland started the game looking lethargic and uninterested. They made just one field goal in the opening four minutes while turning it over twice. Nebraska opened in a zone hoping to force the Terp offensive action to the outside. Scott took the bait and launched a three that was woefully short. During the next possession Young took a three, but unlike Scott, he drained his. The Terps then got beat downcourt and Derrick Walker got a layup. It was the first of many layups for the muscular Nebraska big man.

After the first TV timeout, Walker scored twice as he was just two powerful for Juju Reese. After a Terp miss, Keisei Tominaga drained a three and Maryland found themselves trailing by 5, 13-8.

Walker may have been too strong for Reese, but Reese was too big for Walker. The Terp center went to the rim twice in a row and scored both times. Young followed a successful Scott three with an “and one” after a steal and layup. That capped a 9-0 Terrapin run in which Nebraska went scoreless for almost 3 minutes. A TV timeout at 11:48 broke the action with the Terps now ahead 18-13.

Sam Hoiberg came off of the Cornhusker bench to score 5 points in a row while Maryland hit 2 foul shots and also got a layup from Patrick Emilien. The score was now 22-18. Both teams were switching defenses and the turnovers were mounting. Nebraska had accumulated 5 while the Terps gave it away 4 times.

Hoiberg drained another three before the under 8-minute TV timeout. That triple pulled the Cornhuskers to within a single point. Hoiberg had only scored 13 points all season coming into this game. In only 4 minutes of work against Maryland, he tallied 8.

Besides Hoiberg, Nebraska had problems scoring. Another spell of over three minutes without a point allowed Maryland to grab a 29-21 lead, but Hoiberg, again, had an answer. Maybe the Terps will learn not to let him shoot open threes, because he connected on a third triple on three attempts.

The final TV timeout of the half came with the Terps ahead 29-24 and 3:48 left in the half. Maryland was 11 for 11 from the foul line. The Cornhuskers had yet to have a free throw attempt.

At 1:42, Nebraska finally got to the foul line on what appeared to be a questionable flopping call on Scott. It was fitting that C.J Wilcher missed the shot.

The half ended with the Terps ahead 40-30. The first half story for Maryland was balanced scoring, 5-of-10 shooting from the three-point line, and a perfect 13 for 13 from the foul line. Patrick Emilien had a solid first half with 8 points and 4 rebounds.

Notable first half stats for Nebraska were Walker’s 12 points, Hoiberg’s 11 points, and zero team points from the foul line.

It was a dunk from Scott off a lob pass from Young that caused Nebraska to stop the action with a timeout after 4:39 had been played in the second half. The Terps had outscored Nebraska 11-6 while the ‘Huskers were shooting themselves in the foot with 3 turnovers. Those miscues were killers. Nebraska was shooting 3 for 5 from the field, but dropped 5 points further from the lead.

Seven minutes into the second half, Nebraska made their first foul shots, cutting the Terp lead to 10 at 53-43.

The Maryland offense was outplaying their defense, by a lot. With 6:55 left in the game, Nebraska had already posted 22 second half points compared to 30 in the entire first half. But the Terp “O” had hung 31 on Nebraska and the Maryland lead was now an insurmountable 19 points, 71-52, with about 7 minutes left.

The outcome had been decided by then. A 7-0 Terp advantage in offensive rebounds was proving too much for Nebraska to overcome. Turnovers were, again, an issue for Nebraska as they had committed 6 while forcing just 2.

The remainder of the game was an opportunity for some seldom used Terps to see the court. Maryland was going to win; the only question was by how much.

Nebraska actually was better than Maryland from floor. Their 53% overall and 43% from the three-point line compared favorably to the Terps 43% and 35%. The problem was Maryland’s offensive rebounding edge and positive turnover differential gave Maryland 10 more shots than the ‘Huskers.

The huge disparity in foul shots attempted was monumental also. The Terps went to the line 26 times compared to just 11 for Nebraska. Enjoy the home court while you can!

In the end, the talent level between these two teams is substantial. The Terps had Nebraska outgunned, and that’s before the Cornhuskers lost two starters. Although for a while, little San Hoiberg tried to keep his team in the game. After scoring a total of 13 points all year, he eclipsed that by 3 on Saturday with some strong shooting.

The diminutive freshman, son of Nebraska head coach, Fred Hoiberg, was a perfect 3 for 3 from long range and was 6 for 8 overall. That’s a career night for him, by a long shot (pun intended).

Maryland better get rested because Trace Jackson-Davis and the Indiana Hoosiers come into the XFINITY Center on Tuesday for Maryland’s third home game in a row.

The Hoosiers are fresh off of a Saturday night dismantling of Ohio State. ESPN2 will handle the TV duties for the 9 p.m. start.

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#dmd comments








larry     February 03
Duke coach is making a stink and blaming "the world" for that mix up?? If the players didn't notice after one or two possessions, well not sure what to say there. That Duke team must stink if it took 20 minutes of play to realize they had the wrong ball.

hank     February 03
Hard to decide who is the bigger curmudgeon these days, @MFC or @UTB. @UTB, we are from the same generation, and I used to b*tch and moan about a lot of the stuff that you do as well, then finally decided WTH am I doing? We are on the back 9 brother, find things that you enjoy, that make you happy, and focus on those things. Leave all the bellyaching to the young twitter dopes who think they know everything! None of them know even 20% of what us old farts know. God bless brother!

Unitastoberry     February 03
Thanks CIK. Forgot about sleeve ball Al Davis. Perhaps it's time for a MLB owner to challenge the league on franchise relocation? Maybe Fredo is working with Hyman Roth on that? Lol

Ken     February 03
Five predictions from Drew's lead article today.



1. Ravens sign Lamar to 3 year $140 million deal that's all guaranteed.

2. Canales of Seattle is the new O.C.

3. Caps make playoffs lose in first round to Carolina.

4. Tiger wins a tournament this year but not a major and then retires.

5. Terps are a 4 seed in NCAA tourney and lose in 2nd round.

Joe     February 03
The Wizards are wildly inconsistent this year, going 3-14 during one stretch along with a 4, a 5, and a 6 game winning streak. They are a better team than last year, as Kristaps Porzingis has been relatively injury free and Bradley Beal has actually started distributing the basketball. Kyle Kuzma is a legit scorer, but also a pending free agent so he could possibly be traded by next week's deadline. They did trade Rui Hachimura two weeks ago to the Lakers, who was a solid player but literally doesn't pass the ball, averaging less than an assist per game in over 20 minutes a game (which is hard to do).



I have been a fan since the Baltimore Bullet days, and miss the success of Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes ...

CIK     February 03
@David R

The fact that nobody could immediately feel the difference in the ball is puzzling. My guess is they were using the correct ball. As soon as you play with a women’s ball, you realize it’s much easier to handle and shoot.

CIK     February 03
@U2B

I am sure the NFL has the same language in the owners contracts. The problem is that Al Davis challenged that and beat the NFL in court. So there is precedent to move and not have to get “approval”.

David Rosenfeld     February 03
Wanted to comment about the first thing in the Breakfast Bytes. The Duke coach says that "this would never happen in a men's game." I've actually seen it happen, the teams realized after a minute that they were using a women's ball, and the ball was switched. She said cryptically that "you can figure out who the people are" that failed in this situation. Can you? It could have been a variety of things...like, there is an entire rack of balls for warmups, were they all women's balls and did this get put into the rack by accident? The person who brings the rack out onto the court might be a 19-year-old team manager or a random facilities person. I've never seen a game where the refs don't check the ball before the game. They didn't notice? Seems a bit odd, and something to kind of laugh about in retrospect instead of making a federal case about.

TimD in Timonium     February 03
Regular updates & news about The Wiz? Yawn. Pass.



I'm not an NBA guy, but I have been watching LeBron play lately. Averaging 30 a night and is a week away from becoming the all-time NBA scoring leader. Amazing.



Orioles. Caps. College lax. (Almost) March Madness. Plenty of good stuff to see / talk about.




MFC     February 03
Dog days, you could be a Tar Heel fan and watch the #1 ranked team (first week) fall out of the top 25 and "may" not get an NCAA bid. The NIL "sponsors" want their money back. Not to worry as Bacot rides around Chapel Hill in his Carolina Blue Audi Q8. Also, an interesting article in the NY Times about the NIL and how it's siphoning off $$$ that used to go directly into the general funds of athletic programs. And how about Alabama football where a d-back wanted $800,000 to play there and Nick said, "this may not be the right school for you".But his QB got a million, it pays to be an offensive player, especially QB.



Lady Terps got beat in IOWA last night as this kid Clark goes off for 42, she is a player. Game ended after 11, how are those 9 AM classes going today?



I'm so sick and tired of these basketball officials going to the replay for everything. Dragging the games down. I know it's important to get the call right but it's really getting out of hand.

Unitastoberry     February 03
So NFL teams can move whenever and MLB teams have to get the other owners approval. That's interesting. What's also interesting is that most MLB owners hate Angelos because he backed a union work stoppage but he's not anything about paying players top money since the Albert Belle fiasco. He's a hypocrite. They ruined baseball for me and others in my age group during the prime of my life in Baltimore. This nucleus of draft picks now will end up like the mid 90s and mid 2010s nucleus. Sold off unless there's a new owner.

Karl     February 03
Cleveland has 3 teams, Philly , Washington, but yet this town barely can sustain NFL and MLB and complain that UMD doesnt market here….bottom 5 in attendance for MLB- a wonder why any business owner would not move to Nashville- and NFL didnt want to be here….if attendance to games falter ….will their reasoning be true….at least we have the Ironbirds and Ferrous!

lou@palo alto     February 02
Ah, Steve--# 32 Browns, 19 Colts-livin the dream!!!

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Comparing players from different eras is not feasible .Jim Brown from the 1960s is considered by many to be the greatest running back of all time,; however he never faced linebackers with 4.5 speed .His cutback style against the grain like they did in those days doesn't fly in today's game

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
@U2B- I was 6 when Johnny U took his last snap on 33rd street so I never got to see him play. I would have liked to. But you and @Lou are correct, it is apples to peaches when comparing the Brady football era with the Johnny U football era. What I don't think can be argued very far is the statement, they both reigned as best of their time.

MFC     February 02
Bob S, I think "the Stallion" passed away, "bingo baby". Loved his spots on local tv in OC. He was the best. (If he passed, which I think he did, hope I'm wrong)



SUCH, I think there's a lot of "free" money around. Given the gambling and the future cannabis revenue. That's why no taxes raised in state of state speech. I think that's where the piggy bank is. I'm fine on the expenditure if it keeps the O's in town.

Such     February 02
I'm beginning to have serious doubts about this Angelos fella who has taken unilateral control of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball Club.

I'm not an English professor, so I had to look up "paradigm", which it turns out is defined as "a typical example or pattern of something; a model". I also had to re-read his quote a few times to try and deconstruct all of the PR farm byproduct contained therein.

I'm not entirely sure how a guy who has been Governor of the state for less than a month has "the vision and commitment" to revitalize Downtown Baltimore by pumping a half a billion dollars into a baseball park, but I'm fairly certain I could do a lot of good with that kind of public money too. Call me a cynic while you get off my lawn.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't get the warm and fuzzies from Angelos fils. He strikes me as entitled and condescending. At least his old man was a civic benefactor who actually spent his time in the city. This guy will be laughing all the way to the bank in Nashville with his loot.

The sooner the organization is sold, the better. I realize what that's contingent upon, and I'm not rooting for it, but it will be a better day for this team and its fans when a new ownership group is running things.

Unitastoberry     February 02
Unitas played in 5 title games. He lost 2 won 3. In SB 3 he was about 55% came off the bench(Throwing arm elbow Tendonitis) for Morrall halfway in the 3rd quarter moved the team and threw an interception in the end zone. His 40239 passing yards from 1955-1973 is equivelent to 80000-90000 today. 3 time MVP. I never liked Brady until he got old. He was a stud stat wise and championship wise. Yes he did benefit from numerous rule changes, longer seasons,better surgical techniques, year round training, and huge mega million dollar deals. Unitas has none of that. After his torn up and civil war style knee surgery he started to go south along with a torn achilles, and nagging tendonitits and no doubt arthritis. The man was beaten to a pulp. But I have to say those 7 rings Brady has along with the stats and MVPs makes him the goat. But hear this youngsters. Unitas is still the best pro QB Baltimore has ever had and his last snap on 33rd street was in 1972. Half a century ago.

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
Because he played on the Patriots, anytime they played the Ravens I wanted to see Brady getting up after each play looking through his ear hole. But at the tail of his career there and especially with TB, I came to appreciate his level of performance. It may not be in the category of Cal's consecutive game streak and or Cy Young's 511 wins but it's quite remarkable what he's done and I just don't see another QB winning 7 SBs and also breaking his records for passing yards and TD passes.

Speaking of Super Bowl? I'm sure you all heard of the ticket prices to attend this year. I really enjoy attending a couple Ravens games per year and obviously root hard for them to win but there is no way I'm ever paying that type of money for a ticket... plus airfare, hotel, food, drinks. For a football game? No chance. Well, unless I win the mega-millions. Like I said, no chance.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     February 02
Drew, it's great to see you bringing Bobby Vermillion and "Endless Golf" on at DMD!

Now all you need to do is get Bobby's old partner "The Stallion" on board for his gambling picks!

lou@palo alto     February 02
there is no comparing the modern QB position to Johnny U: can't hit the QB or receiver, OL w different rules, 12 games per yr & call your own plays, too many teams--fyi

larry     February 02
A for profit business being all about the money, say it ain't so! Why in the world would the Orioles, or the Ravens, want only to be "a good citizen"? Newsflash, they are business entities, NOT citizens!

@MFC is correct too. The city needs to revitalize inner harbor back into the crown jewel it used to be, and with Port Covington development, the whole downtown area, including Canton, Fells Point, Fed Hill, etc could generate an insane amount of economic activity. But, you have to make the city safe. At least that part of the city.

Is this mayor up for that? He wants to remember his roots and all, but part of making the city safe is doing things his political party likes to be "outraged" about. Do they have the stones to crack down on things past administrations seemingly turned a blind eye to? And face the wrath of the "outrage for profit" crowd? I sure hope so, cause Baltimore could certainly use an economic revitalization and all the jobs that comes with. What better way to help your impoverished citizens?

Delray Rick     February 02
BRADY the BABE RUTH of football

Jason M     February 02
Brady was the best I ever got to watch, and like #52, I feel privileged that we got to watch one of the all time greats do his thing. I used to hate him for being such a Raven Killer, but hell after awhile you need to give credit where credit is due, and I have probably spent the last decade of his career as an admirer. The stats on his durability are a great and not often cited insight - no missed games for injury since 2008 - Brady is Iron Man.



I think you'll see big crowds at Fan Fest this weekend. I am bullish on the future of the city, 3 James Beard nominated restaurants, Broadway productions at the Hippo, MLB at the Yard and NFL across the way. You're not getting that in Westminster, Columbia or Frederick, as safe as those places are.

MFC     February 02
We have a complex 2 blocks away called the inner harbor, which is supposed to have a major makeover. Port Covington is advancing rapidly, lets take advantage of that. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area. What we need is a safe city. Let's solve that. No squeegee "kids", lots of police presence to feel safe walking the city. People will go downtown if they feel safe.

And let's get the players to be involved in the city. A major outreach program would do miracles and not just with the Oriole Bird.

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Call me cynical but this new Camden Yard complex will be finished when the rebuilt Pimlico Race Course is completed.

Our refurbished downtown arena is going to still be an outdated facility.

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 02
Im surprised idiots online continue to fall for the Os moving nonsense. The Sun perfectly outlined why it behooves the Os not to sign a 5 yr lease causing unfavorable provisions to roll over, plus the 600 mil coming their way let alone the 3 or 4 billion sale price in 2 or 3 years or the fact that MLB has blocked SF, Oak, TB and everybody else thats tried to move without permission the last 70 years. Os are proving the old saying youll never go broke betting on the American public's gullibility.

Vince     February 01
Brady done?....

Or is his movie tanking and this is a ploy to get folks in the theater?

Stats Nerd     February 01
@Howard everything I have heard seems to indicate Exclusive. The consensus seems to be that he is worth more than simply the 2 1sts that non-exclusive carries with it. Of course they could use non-exclusive and still trade him for more than the 2 firsts but it's maybe not as clean

Howard     February 01
Which franchise tag for Lamar? I would favor the non-exclusive tag. If he signs a reasonable contract with another team the Ravens can match it. If the Ravens do not want to match it, they get number one picks in 2023 and 2024. Most importantly, if no one offers him, his 2023 salary is $32 million rather than $45 million, meaning that EDC would not have to blow up the team in order to get under the cap

David Rosenfeld     February 01
Dale as you said the home/road FT disparity is hardly new. Nor is the fact that teams play better at home. I just think some of the stretches the team has had on the road have been horrendous. By the time it's 21-4 or 17-4 or 25-11 or whatever, it's hard to even take the stats for the rest of the game seriously.

I think you hit the nail on the head about last night. Seems silly to say 18 pts and 20 rebounds is making it hard on a guy but it really was...it's a team game that requires a lot more than one guy to win.

hal     February 01
What exactly does "open their books" even mean? So many fans just parrot the media in that regard, what specific financial data do people want to see. More importantly, how much true financial data would a fan or media member even understand?

Ala the BP lunatic, people think they will easily see "that crooked family made two billion $ over the last 10 years" and then pretend "they coulda bought baseball players with that money". These are the same people who say Bisciotti "made" $3B because he paid 750K for Ravens and they could be sold for $4B now.

As for moving, if the O's don't sign a long term lease and eventually move, we need to hold Mayor Scott and Gov Moore accountable. John A claims these two as "personal friends", so how can a lease extension not already be done? I am aware Irsay flat out lied to Schaefer years ago, but Billy Don never claimed that drunken stooge was a personal friend of his, this would be way worse than what happened in 1984. Media should stop chasing Angelos and start chasing B Scott.

Such     February 01
Of more interest than "opening the books" (HaHaHa!) is whether John Angelos signs the one-year lease extension by the end of today. That will be the best indicator of his intentions about the future of the Orioles in Baltimore. His reluctance to do so has me thinking that the Nashville rumors might have some fire and not just smoke.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I can see a scenario where the Orioles go to Nashville and the Oakland A's move here. When billionaires are involved, anything is possible.

Jason M     February 01
They should have a special accounting area set up at fan fest where the P&L can be viewed and audited. They could have the fans get interactive and track how much of their cash made it to the teams bottom line. Talk about interactive and fun for the whole family!

lou@palo alto     February 01
yes, spy is better having played both many times. will be at pebble tho this sat, walking around the turn where u can see holes 8-13--by far the best walking holes for fans

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Youre right Larry. Im only right when i bet the opposite of what Dale predicts. Im not a hater im a thanker!!

CIK     February 01
Dale provides excellent coverage of Terps basketball. His coverage and analysis is thorough and thoughtful. But to say he is hitting 80% winners is preposterous. Just because you write a nice blog doesn’t mean you are “sharp” when picking games.

MFC     February 01
Agree 100% on the Spyglass take, a much better and significantly harder course.



Picking basketball scores might be the hardest of all there are so many variables. Dales does a great job with his reporting and insight how about just enjoying that. If you're placing bets based on his projections the fault lies with you, not him.



TB 12 ruined his marriage for that season?

Josh     February 01
Tom Brady “retiring…for good”. Sure, we’ll see about that

Frank D     February 01
Sooooo - now we can sign Tom Brady for one year and win us another SB??????

Unitastoberry     February 01
As for Angelo's LLC aka Oriole's books. A bird told flew in the window at the warehouse and reported that despite virtually paying nobody but Chris Davis since 1997 they have made a billion plus and paid very little in taxes. The bird was then eaten by a hungry hawk. No further details are available. Remember feed your feathered friends in the cold weather months.

Larry     February 01
Eric in Gaithersburg has never been wrong. Don't you guys all know that?

Creston     February 01
I have followed Dale Williams since he started writing here and I'd put his hoops knowledge up against any of you clowns who criticize him for his predictions.

He probably gets 80% of the games/outcomes right but you clowns only worry about the 20%. Go back to your moms basement clowns and let the basketball guy handle the basketball analysis. Great job Dale!

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Dale wrong as usual! He should do a radio show with Cowherd and Francesa. Backaftathis twitter account would commit suicide from over work. Meanwhile the lame played out Michael Jordan twitter memes from "Turgeon" have oddly disappeared. Never understood that lame flex- look at the new guy failing to dig out the mess i left him? Willard not only deserves coach of the year he also currently 18th ranked recruiting class. Brighter days finally here

Delray RICK     February 01
Read on internet bout KELCE Brothers from their mom when they grew up. HILARIOUS!!

Kevin     January 31
Another spot on prediction by #Dale.

Jk     January 31
Drew......back on the radio. He just announced on Twitter. Welcome back Drew.

hal     January 31
SOD loyalists "RC" and "Geno" must have missed the part where DMD also stated quite clearly that MSJ most certainly did NOT "run up the score" vs CHC. MFC might be being kind saying those guys need a session or two of RC 101, they might need new eyeglasses!

TimD in Timonium     January 31
@Hank, you are correct, sir. LB Roquan Smith has no agent. I thought I'd read he did have one last August, but I'm mistaken. No agent. Got the deal done.

Bobby     January 31
@CIK maybe you should have just stopped at.....



" Nobody knows because Lamar doesn’t put much out there."

Saturday
January 28, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3078


"what should sports do?"


Eric Poole sent me an interesting e-mail last night. It arrived at precisely the same time I was reading a story about the subject he brought up.

I was reading about Tyre Nichols, a 29-year old Memphis man who died back on January 7 after getting savagely attacked by five Memphis police officers. The video of the encounter was published on Friday, heightening the outrage at the way the officers inhumanely treated Nichols. All five have been fired and charged with second-degree murder in the wake of Nichols' death.

"Hi Drew," Poole's e-mail read. "I'm just wondering if you're following the Tyre Nichols story tonight and what role you think sports could have in dealing with the police brutality issue. I know you've tackled sensitive subjects before so maybe you're willing to give an opinion on this in the Morning Dish. Thanks, Drew."

I was reading about Nichols when I heard the notification on my phone, saw I had a new e-mail waiting, and opened up Eric's correspondence.

I figured that's God's way of telling me to write about it here.

The Nichols story is a terrible one. It's beyond terrible, actually, when you think about the past problems we've had in our country with regard to overuse-of-power by police officers. If you're a police officer, now, in 2023, you should be very well versed in what is acceptable force and what isn't acceptable force.

That's what has a lot of folks especially angry at the Memphis police officers. They knew what they were doing was wrong. And they just kept on beating and attacking Nichols.

That the five officers and Nichols were African American is neither here nor there, really, but it's an important part of the story nonetheless.

Had the officers been white or hispanic, race and police brutality would have been the central parts of the narrative. But since they were all African American, there's only central part: police brutality.

Overuse of power has long been a festering problem, particularly in inner cities were crime is constant and many police departments are shorthanded. Officers need to "get on the street" more quickly, which sometimes cuts their training by as many as 14 days. In the end, while the community is generally grateful for their service, a number of officers are on duty without the benefit of full and proper training.

This can lead to officers being dispatched into their respective communities not fully equipped to handle tense situations. It becomes more about survival than it does proper training.


Many NBA teams published statements on Friday regarding Nichols' death, including the Memphis Grizzlies. The NBA also released a statement early last night.

Once the video of the attack gets fully viewed over the next 24 hours, tensions are surely only going to increase.

So what can sports do?

Anything?

It's a great question. And I don't know that I have the answer.

Should sports do something? That's one question.

Can sports do something? That's another question entirely.

For better or worse, sports is going to be involved in this story. In particular because of the Grizzlies, the Memphis sports scene will be a haven for "hot takes" over the next week or two. What should the NBA team in Memphis do? What about the University of Memphis athletic teams? Should they be involved?

I don't know how sports can impact the dilemma without doing something off-the-wall crazy that potentially winds up generating more negative publicity than anything else.

There was a time, you might remember, when the Ravens decided to take a knee as a team during the playing of the national anthem prior to a game in London. And that, you might also recall, didn't go over so well back here in Baltimore.

The Ravens were reacting to a comment made about football players by then-President Donald Trump. Their kneeling was a sign of protest, more cosmetic than anything else. I mean, we all know the NFL and its players weren't going to change President Trump just because they caused a scene in London.

But is this occasion in Memphis different?

This is something than can be stopped. The overuse of power issue needs to addressed, contained and eventually eliminated.

We've been trying for a few years now, and perhaps making progress, but situations like what we saw in Memphis serve as a reminder there's still work to be done.

And perhaps worst of all is this unintended consequence of police brutality: It casts a skeptical light on all police officers, which means the large percentage of officers who are doing good work in their communities get lumped in with the bad ones.


So, we're back to the initial question. What can sports do?

Should the athletes in the NBA, NFL and NHL somehow connect today and announce that they aren't going to play on Sunday?

That would be a real show-stopper.

There would be no NBA and NHL games and the two NFL championship games on Sunday get postponed because there are no players available. I'm not sure exactly what message that sends, but it would certainly draw national attention to the story in Memphis.

Should their be a 30-minute "sit in" prior to all games on Sunday? That would be disruptive, create some logistical issues with TV broadcasts and such, but the games would still go on once the 30-minute protest concludes.

Professional athletes are going to be front and center this weekend talking publicly about the Tyre Nichols story. If they truly want to be part of the solution, it's incumbent on them to do something about it.

Players electing not to play in protest could cost themselves money if their pay is withheld or they're suspended. The NFL would certainly react harshly if the four teams this Sunday said, "Yeah, sorry, we're not going to play today. Move the games to Monday."

It's one thing to talk about the problem and suggest a solution for others to follow.

It's another thing entirely to create a solution and be part of it yourself.

There's the famous internet video of Dinesh D'Souza getting into a heated debate with an Amherst College student who is outraged at the lack of minorities who occupy seats in his various classes at Amherst.

When pressed for a solution by D'Souza, the student says, "In the future I think Amherst should balance out the number of admissions to ensure a greater diversity and allow more minorities into the school."

D'Souza then says, "No, that's not how it works. What you should do is go to the Admissions office today and give up your seat and ask that it be given to a minority applicant. Don't tell Amherst to deny other (white) students their seat here. If you feel strongly that more minorities should be admitted, go give up your seat, since you're part of the problem you've addressed here today."

Athletes want to see change. We all want to see change. But how do you enact that change yourself? And can you, even?

There will be people who say to the athletes "just shut up and dribble". In other words, just do your job as a basketball player (or football player, etc.) and let the hard work be handled by others.

If only it were that easy for athletes -- or any of us, for that matter -- to blatantly ignore what goes on in and around our communities. They live here, too. They have family here just like we do. They might not be in Baltimore, Cleveland or Memphis for the rest of their lives, but they're here now.

They have the right to be involved in creating a solution.


I don't know the answer.

But we need to figure out what the answer is, because the way it's going now isn't the ansewr.

And as a someone who was raised to appreciate the work of our law enforcement officials, I think a widespread protest slaps at the good officers who don't deserve to be lumped in with the bad ones.

But I also know that we saw on video from Memphis has to stop. Unless the officers had reasonable belief their lives were in danger -- which it certainly looks like they weren't in that kind of distress -- there's no justification at all for treating Tyre Nichols they way he was treated.

How can we stop this from happening?

And do athletes and teams play a role in it?

Those are two important questions, for sure.

And we, as a country, should work together to discover the answers. Sooner rather than later.

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DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


improving terps host nebraska today


It’s hard to develop an accurate scouting report on the Nebraska team that the Terps will see today at 4:30 p.m. in College Park.

The squad that you saw during an early season game is now missing 2 starters who were key parts of a defensive minded team. The Cornhuskers will be without starters Juwan Gary and Emmanuel Bandoumel as injuries have claimed two tough defenders and the defensive identity of the ‘22-23 Cornhuskers team.

This Nebraska club might be the smallest Big Ten team that the Terps will face. Derrick Walker is a solid beast at 6’9” and 245 lbs., but after him the team is far less imposing. Walker leads his team in scoring (13.6 per game), rebounds (7.5), and is second in assists with 3.8. His offensive game is entirely inside the arc, and it’s a very physical style that he plays.

Jahmir Young will be counted on heavily again today as the Terps looks to square their Big Ten record at 5-5 vs. Nebraska.

After Walker, the Cornhuskers will start four guards but two of them are pretty big guards. Denim Dawson is 6’6” but he offers under 2 points a game. That number should go up as his minutes increase, but he’s only a 36% shooter from the field. I think his natural assignment will be Hakim Hart. Advantage Maryland.

I expect Sam Griesel to draw Donta Scott. While I have respect for Griesel’s tenacity and his ball handling skills for a 6’7” guy, I’m not sure he’s built to handle Scott. He may be tough enough, but his quickness is suspect.

Offensively, Griesel gives Nebraska 11.2 points per game, second on the team. But at just 44% from the floor and 30% from beyond the 3-point arc, he’s not super-efficient. Griesel is the leading assist guy on the team (4.1) but turns it over 2.5 times each contest. Advantage Maryland, again.

If you had to designate two players as the Cornhusker “backcourt”, I’d give that title to Keisei Tominaga and Jamarques Lawrence.

In particular, watch out for Tominaga, he goes on streaks where he’s deadly. He looks frail on the court, being 6’2” and 175, but he has great balance and a deceptive burst. He hung 22 points on Northwestern in Nebraska’s last game, and the bulk of those were in the first half. He’s also money from the foul line, hitting 93%. There’s a lot to like about his game.

Lawrence might draw Maryland’s Jahmir Young today. At 6’3” and 185 lbs., he’s bigger and more physical than Tominaga. Lawrence is one of the players seeing additional time because of Nebraska’s injury issues. He logged 33 minutes against Northwestern on Wednesday, but for the season he averages just under 12 minutes.

Maryland needs to respect his long game as he’s 38.5% from three-point land. I like Tominaga, so I’ll give Nebraska one “win” here, but the Terps claim victory at the other guard position.

C.J Witcher is the best bench player (especially defensively) on the Cornhusker team, and he’ll see significant minutes, but don’t expect much offense from him or from the rest of the Nebraska bench.

Nebraska is scrappy and Walker is a legit banger inside. He’d look really good in a Terp uniform. Outside of him and Tominaga, there isn’t much available help. Griesel is OK too.

It is well documented that the Terps are one of the nation’s poorest three-point shooting teams. Nebraska is actually worse. It’s just a fraction worse, mind you, but the numbers are still awful. With the outside game providing little offensive help, and not much going inside because of a small lineup, Nebraska will be hard pressed to top 60 points as long as Maryland puts in an honest day’s work on the defensive side.

When the Terps have the ball, Young should be able to get to the rim. Once he gets inside, there’s no protector for Nebraska, so look for him to score. Scott should be able to assert himself too, as could Hart. This a tough matchup for a depleted ‘Husker lineup.

Nebraska is 3-7 in the Big Ten and will fall to 3-8 after this game. Unfortunately, for them, the rest of their conference schedule is brutal. They’ll face 6 likely NCAA tournament teams in their final 9 games.

It’s a tough season for a team that had to replace the large majority of their points and rebounds from last season. Add in the injuries and you get a group destined to finish in the bottom two of the league.

Nebraska, behind Walker, has shown that they will play hard. This won’t be a walk in the park for Maryland, but the Terps certainly have the more talented roster. The books say the talent gap is worth 11.5 points. I’ll have to agree with them.

If Maryland can avoid giving up fast break points, play Tominaga tough, and limit Walker, this will be a double-digit win. Don’t be surprised to see a final somewhere in the range of 71-59, moving the Terps to .500 (5-5) in the Big Ten.

The XFINITY Center hosts today’s game and you can watch it on the Big Ten Network.

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Friday
January 27, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3077


misnomers...no more


We no longer use the dictionary these days. Instead, we simply go to Google and type in the word we're looking to define.

As in, misnomer, for example.

Misnomer is defined as "a wrong or inaccurate name, description or term."

It's a fancy, different way of saying "mistake", I suppose.

One of the benefits of no longer have to write about Greg Roman, Lamar Jackson or James Proche allowing a ball to go through his hands in the end zone is the option of tackling other subjects here at #DMD. As I've said several times this week, some of those subjects might interest you and some might not.

We'll be back here tomorrow, though, so if nothing strikes your fancy today -- reading wise -- we'll return bright early on Saturday morning to entertain you.

That said, let's address some misnomers here this morning, shall we?

I see in the Comments section where Bill addresses yesterday's #DMD and a mailbag question I answered regarding the University of Maryland.

Let's get Bill back on track and centered in reality.

#DMD says Kevin Willard and his Maryland basketball team should play at least one "home" game in Baltimore every season.

He starts off with a comment that "this website has always been anti-Maryland", presumably in response to yesterday's comment where I mentioned that the school does nothing (or very little, to be more fair) to promote their athletic product in/around Baltimore.

That #DMD is "anti-Maryland" is a misnomer.

If, in fact, #DMD was "anti-Maryland", Dale Williams wouldn't be in his 8th year of contributing his outstanding Maryland basketball coverage here at the website.

If, in fact, I were "anti-Maryland", I wouldn't go to basketball games in College Park, which I've done twice already this season and will likely do at least once more before March, if not twice.

Bill goes on: "Drew hates the Beatles and dislikes Maryland."

Never, never, never have I used the word "hates" in association with my opinion of the Beatles. The word I have used is "overrated". Do I like their music? Not at all. Do I think they're overrated? Very much so. Do I "hate" them? I most certainly do not.

As for "disliking Maryland", I have followed Maryland basketball all of my life. Maryland football has never connected with me but that's mainly because the school has done very little, if anything, to showcase their product to me in Baltimore.

There was a time when the Terps would routinely play a home basketball game at the Baltimore Arena. I remember going to a Maryland-Clemson football game at Memorial Stadium one time and I recall within the last decade seeing a Maryland-Navy football game at Ravens Stadium.

On the whole, Maryland football is a forgotten entity in Baltimore. That's not my fault or your fault, by the way. That's the school's fault.

As for basketball, I have no idea how many games I've been to in Cole/Xfinity combined, but it's well over 100. Now, perhaps 100 games in 40 years of "adulthood" isn't a lot, but it's also not indicative of someone who "dislikes" Maryland.

What I dislike, though, is the school's general apathy towards Baltimore when it comes to schedulding games in/around our city to give local sports fans the opportunity to learn more about the various programs they have in College Park.

This is where we get to the opinion part, I suppose.

It's my opinion that Maryland should bring their men's and women's basketball teams, men's soccer and lacrosse teams, and football team to Baltimore once a year to play a "home" game here. Not doing that is, A) a mistake and, B) shows, at least to me, a general lack of interest in Baltimore.

Having been born and raised here, I get offended (and, yes, perhaps sometimes overly so) when Baltimore gets shunned.

And it's not like we're arguing about whether Penn State should play a football or basketball game in York, PA because there are lots of Nittany Lions fans in York. That's roughly a 2 hour drive. And York is, well, kind of small.

College Park is 40 miles from Baltimore. The University might be in College Park but the state "hub" is its biggest city, Baltimore.

So, contrary to Bill's mindless ramblings, I do not "dislike" Maryland. If, in fact, I did, Dale Williams wouldn't cover Maryland basketball here. (And here's a late January reminder that if anyone reading this actually follows Maryland football enough to write about it regularly next fall, please reach out to me and you have "open space" here to tell everyone what's going on with Mike Locksley's program.)

What I do "dislike", though, is Maryland's longtime refusal to connect with Baltimore.

I hope that clears up Bill's misnomer.


An e-mail landed in my inbox yesterday afternoon from Mike who said "every time you write that the Ravens shouldn't resign Lamar, you lose credibility with your readers."

He wrote some other outrageously inaccurate stuff, but the only misnomer worth clearing up is the one about the team's efforts to resign Lamar Jackson.

Here, for the record, for the 294th time, is what I think about the Ravens and Lamar Jackson: I believe they should make every effort to resign him. I do not believe it would be wise to "let him get away", even for a haul of draft picks and perhaps a veteran player or two.

That said, I also know what the reality is: That Lamar and the Ravens might not be able to make a deal. It's most certainly about money and nothing else, really. Lamar thinks he's worth "XXXX" and the Ravens may think he's only worth "XXX". That one extra "X" is what they're fighting over.

And it might come to pass in a month or so that they simply can't agree on that "X". And if that happens, then, yes, the Ravens are going to have consider (look that word up...) parting company with him via a tag-and-trade scenario.

Unlike a lot of people, though, I don't look at losing Lamar like it's the end of the franchise.

I want the Ravens to resign Lamar.

I think they should resign Lamar.

But I also understand that money comes into play, guarantees come into play, and there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that we don't know anything about.

Someone far, far more in the know than I am said to me a week or two ago, "Lamar's real goal is to play in Miami or Tampa Bay." If you asked him what he "wants", and he were being honest about it, that's what he would say. 'I want to play and live in Florida.'"

I have no idea if that's true. But that's one of those "behind the scenes" things that us regular folk know nothing about that could be a roadblock to Lamar agreeing with the Ravens on a new deal.

Lamar might want two things. He might want to get paid to the tune of $250 million. And he might also not want to get that money in Baltimore. He might prefer to get that money from the Dolphins or Buccaneers.

I have no idea if that's true, but I'm willing to acknowledge that it might be.

And saying that doesn't mean I don't want the Ravens to resign him, as Mike tried to say to me yesterday.

It does mean, though, that resigning Lamar isn't as easy as just giving him the "XXXX" he wants. Here's where we might quibble about Lamar's "true value" as it relates to his skills and his contributions to the team. When he plays, he's one of the most valuable players in the entire league. The issue, though, is he's developing a habit of "not playing" quite a bit over the last two years.

And therein lies the debate about whether he's a "XXXX" player or a "XXX" player.

But you'll never hear me say the Ravens shouldn't resign Lamar because I think they should make every effort to do so. But if it comes to pass that at some point next month the organization has to draw a line in the sand and say "We can't agree on a deal with him", then it will be in their best interests to shop him around the league and make the best trade they can for him.


And last, but certainly not least, for I know how jittery he gets at any kind of perceived "slight", we come to Herman, an erstwhile regular commenter here who no longer posts comments due to his personal beef with "the site owner".

Because of the platform we're currently using as it relates to comment publication, people duck in and out of here all the time using some sort of moniker other than one they've created for themselves.

Herman appears to be one of those oft-used monikers people like to use, for whatever reason. I don't understand it, other than to say, simply, that some people wake up every day and say, "What can I do today to be a jerk?" And then go about it fulfilling that desire, somehow.

I have no idea at all why people insist on portraying themselves as "Herman" when they're not really "Herman". Someone posted a vulgar, obscene message here a few days ago with "Jesus" as their moniker. I don't know why people do that. But they do. And when it happens, either myself or a staff member removes the offending comment.

Someone posted yesterday as "TheRealHerman" but, rest assured, that was not "Herman". That was, again, someone who woke up on Thursday morning and said to themselves, "I have nothing better to do today, I'll just be a jerk."

So it is, indeed, a misnomer when you see someone using the moniker of "TheRealHerman" indicating they've been "ejected" from the website.

No one has ever been banned from this website. Not once. Never.

Monk used to come along every few weeks and whine and cry about being "banned" but the reality is, he got his feelings hurt, left on his own, and then returned under a different moniker. He still posts here today, on what is probably his 6th or 7th different name since 2014. He didn't "die". He didn't do anything except change names.

So when you read "TheRealHerman" say "I've been ejected", you're really reading two misnomers.

Number one, that's not really Herman. That's someone portraying themselves as Herman.

Number two, no one gets "ejected" from the comments section. If you write something offensive or stupid and we take it down, you can come right back tomorrow (or later that day) and post another comment.

Now, if your comment gets removed and you take umbrage with that and get your feelings hurt, that's on you. You have to have reconcile that with yourself.

But just know this: no one ever gets banned from here. All of you are welcome, even -- gasp -- Beatles and Flyers fans.

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faith in sports


Today's "Faith in Sports" segment has a decidely "Baltimore twist" to it, as you'll see an awesome story about the development of FCA Lacrosse and how people like Frank Kelly III and Bryan Kelly of Calvert Hall helped get FCA Lacrosse off the ground and into one of the most competitive lacrosse programs in the country.

In my role with FCA Golf Maryland, I'm endeavoring to do the same thing over time. I'd like to build a program where we combine Golf and FCA with junior golfers in the area who compete as ambassadors for Jesus Christ while showcasing what FCA can do for them in their efforts to grow in their faith.

This video is awesome. It's truly a "from the ground floor" look at what FCA Lacrosse has built here in Baltimore.

Thanks to our friends at Freestate Electrical for their continued support of "Faith in Sports" here every Friday at #DMD.


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Thursday
January 26, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3076


thursday mailbag


Stats Nerd and Dale Williams do the heavy lifting today here at #DMD, as they review the Capitals season to date and Maryland's easy win over Wisconsin last night, respectively.

So I'll dive in with some good old fashioned Q & A this morning and get working on trying to clean out my inbox.

As always, I encourage you to submit a question for a future column. Just be aware that I'm kinda lousy at answering them, although these post-football "dog days" do help me.

If you have a question, send it along to: 18inarow@gmail.com


Bart C. asks -- "Drew, if money wasn't an object and the Orioles gave you the keys to the franchise, who is the one player you would sign and bring to Baltimore?"

DF says -- "I guess you're just talking about a mythical signing because some of the best players aren't actually free agents. But this guy actually is going to be a free agent in 2024 and I'd spend all of the money the Orioles have in their piggy bank on Shohei Ohtani. He gives you a quality arm on the mound and a remarkable bat at the plate.

And he's also one of the rare players in baseball who is an actual "drawing card" for home games. Maybe someday Gunnar or Adley reaches that level, who knows? But people will make it a point to go out of their way and buy tickets to see Ohtani. Whatever he wants, money wise, I'd give him. And he's worth it."


Rickie Fowler hasn't won in four years on the PGA Tour and continues to slip in the Official World Golf Rankings with each tournament he plays.

K.C. asks -- "For your mailbag column. Now that golf season is here and they are playing pro tournaments again, I'll give you some low hanging fruit. What happened to Rickie Fowler?"

DF says -- "He's still around. Still trying to get better. Still "digging it out of the dirt", as the saying goes. I guess you mean, "how did Rickie Fowler go from the #4 player in the world to where he has been in the last few years?"

First, I think there's an argument that Fowler was never the #4 player in the world in the first place. The Official World Golf Rankings might have had him there, at #4, but I don't think there was ever a moment in his career where Fowler was, actually, the 4th best player in the world.But from there, what happened? I don't know this for a fact, but I have to assume he made some swing changes to try to pick up distance off the tee and those changes wound up hurting other parts of his game.

I know, statistically, Fowler's putting has dropped off significantly over the last few years, but that might be more of a factor of not hitting the ball on the green close enough to the hole. If you hit it 30 feet from the pin on average and then suddenly average 40 feet to the pin, your putting data is surely going to drop off a bit.

And Fowler has gone through at least two substantial swing changes since his last win in 2019. Maybe even three. It's been a long road for him. He's had an excellent career, though, despite not living up to all the promise he showed when he first came out on TOUR from Oklahoma State 15 years. He's won on TOUR and made a lot of money. But there's no question his best days are behind him now."


J. Dillon asks -- "I was reading the Dish today (recently) and saw your Ravens "hot take" about trading Mark Andrews and was wondering if you have a similar hot take for the Orioles in the 2023 season? Thanks and Go Hall!"

DF says -- "Yes, Go Hall! indeed. Thank you. This isn't really a hot take, I don't think, since a lot of baseball experts are talking about him, but I think Gunnar Henderson will run away with the A.L. Rookie of the Year award in '23.

I'll do official statistical predictions later on this spring, but I see Henderson hitting above .300 in his rookie season. I guess maybe that's the "hot take" you're looking for, right? Gunnar will hit over .300 in 2023. There you have it. He is the real deal, for sure, and he'll start proving that right away this season."


Mike Thiel asks -- "I know you've said in the past that Bisciotti isn't firing Harbaugh when he owes him a lot of money on his contract but what do you think the magic number is that Bisciotti will swallow to let Harbaugh go?"

DF says -- "I have no idea. It's not my money so it's hard to say. But "buying out contracts" is something every sports team does at some point. You just do your best not to make it a habit of doing so, that's all. Steve's most famous buy out was when he gave Brian Billick $18 million to go away back in 2008. That's a nice parting gift, for sure.

I assume Bisciotti would be hesitant to do something like that again. Unless John received an automatic one-year extension for making the playoffs in 2022, his current Ravens deal runs through the 2025 season, reportedly at somewhere in the $9 million per-season range. Steve is not firing John Harbaugh and handing him $27 million of "free money", that's for sure. And I assume even after next year he wouldn't want to let Harbaugh go and fork over a "free" $18 million, either.

So I suppose the answer is that it becomes reasonable to let someone go when they only have one year left on their contract. That one, you can absorb. But remember, I've always said this: I don't think Steve will ever fire John Harbaugh. If John's not around, it will be of his own doing."


Ray asks -- "Is it me or is there almost no enthusiasm for Maryland basketball in Baltimore?"

DF says -- "I don't think it's you, but it's fair to remember the team hasn't been all that good in recent years and the school does almost nothing to attract Baltimore sports fans to their athletic teams. When is the last time the football team played a game in Baltimore? When's the last time the basketball team played a game in Baltimore? Why wouldn't the soccer team play a game in Baltimore? Or the lacross team?

The answer is fairly obvious: The Maryland athletic department doesn't see Baltimore as an important part of their strategy to fill seats in College Park. Traditionally, if Maryland's lacrosse team plays one of the Baltimore schools, they come in as the "road team". There's no marketing value to that for the athletic department. Why wouldn't they play a significant lax rival (Notre Dame would be a natural) in the football stadium in Baltimore?

That the men's and women's basketball teams don't each play one home game per-season in Baltimore is the tell-all. You have upwards of 15 home games in each program and you can't find one of them to play in Baltimore? And then you wonder why there are 12,000 people in the arena for a January home game when the students are away for the semester break.

There's no marketing in Baltimore. There are no ads saying, "We have tickets available for this Sunday's home game with Ohio State!" or anything of that nature. Maryland has always ignored Baltimore.

I think people in Baltimore are enthusiastic about Maryland basketball, but it might take a year for Kevin Willard to excite people again. It's mostly about winning and losing. If the Terps are good and they go back to the tournament and win a game or two in March, people are going to take notice. But on the whole, the school is to blame for the general lack of interest. They've done nothing to engage with Baltimore."

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terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


terps blast visiting badgers


The Wisconsin Badgers brought their team, coaches, and equipment to College Park on Wednesday, but they left their energy, legs, and spirit in Madison.

The Maryland Terrapins capitalized and pushed, banged, and bulled their way to a convincing 73-55 win last night. Maryland was led by Jahmir Young’s 22-point night and a solid double-double by Donta Scott (14 points 11 rebounds).

The home Terrapins dominated the glass, 32-22, owned the paint 38-22, and shot 56% from the floor. The high field goal percentage was a direct result of the ability of several Terps to put their shoulder down and bully their way into the paint for easy looks.

Jahmir Young led the Terps with 22 points last night as Maryland dumped Wisconsin by 18 points in College Park.

Wisconsin, playing on just one day’s rest after having a road game at Northwestern on Monday, lacked the strength and stamina to handle Maryland’s physicality. When Hakim Hart (13 points) is running you over and flexing after scoring you know you’ve been manhandled.

Right off the bat to start the game the Terps got beat for a layup off a designed play featuring a well-timed cutter. Wisconsin then got two more buckets when Steven Crowl was allowed to operate one on one in the paint. Maryland also went inside for a few buckets and the game was tied at 6 all.

Connor Essegian and Scott matched threes and again the game was tied. The Terps took their first lead when Young made a three, but Wisconsin’s Jordan Davis matched that with a three of his own. A Young driving dunk ended the scoring of the fast-paced opening minutes. The game was tied at 14 a-piece when the first TV came with 13:57 left in the half. The pace would slow down after that.

Neither team was able to gain much of an advantage during the first 8 minutes of play. Maryland was shooting 61% from the field and the Badgers had knocked down 70% of their shots. The score was 18-17 in favor of Maryland after the second TV timeout at the 11:23 mark.

Both teams then went into scoring droughts with the Terps going over 5 minutes without a point while Wisconsin didn't score in over 4 minutes. A three by Hepburn ended Wisconsin’s scoreless run, and gave his team a 20-18 lead.

The Terps then missed 6 shots in a row as their scoring woes reached over 6 minutes. It was the foul line that finally provided Maryland some much needed points. Don Carey was fouled while shooting and connected on both free throws. The game was tied at 20-20.

The Terps then got hot again, forcing Wisconsin to call a timeout in an effort to quell a Maryland 8-0 run. It was a second three from Scott that ignited the crowd and gave the Terps a 5-point lead at 28-23 with 4:04 left in the half.

A Terps steal that led to a Young layup gave Maryland their biggest lead to that point, 30-23. That quickly became 9 when Reese pushed home a 6-footer.

Maryland cooled off, going the last 2:11 of the half without scoring. The final 5 points of the half would all belong to Wisconsin, as it was a Tyler Wahl layup and a Steven Crowl three that wrapped up the first half scoring.

At the intermission, Maryland led 32-28. The Badger three-point shooting was keeping them in the game. They dropped 5 of their 9 tries, good for an impressive 55.6%.

Young was pacing Maryland with 11 points followed by Scott with 9 and Reese with 8. As a team Maryland hit 52% of their shots in the first half, but the yield was low because the pace had slowed.

Maryland jumped on Wisconsin for 5 quick second half points that included another three by Young. Two Reese assisted dunks were matched by a couple of Wisconsin buckets but Reese’s third made basket in a row gave the Terps a double-digit lead, 43-33.

Maryland was owning the paint, and when Scott hit another driving layup the difference in points in the paint at that time was 32-12. That told the story of Maryland’s 13-point (49-36) lead. The Badgers had no answer for the strong Terp drives to the bucket. The visitors were getting overwhelmed.

A nifty behind the back, step-back three, from Hakim Hart made the score 54-42 with 11:51 left in the game. Maryland had hit 9 of their 12 second half shots with the large majority being dunks or layups. They also were successful on 2 of their 3 three-pointers. It’s also notable that Maryland had, at this point, 11 assists and just 6 turnovers.

At 7:18 the Badger’s Jordan Davis launch a rainbow triple that was significantly long. The Terps grabbed the rebound and I sensed at that moment some quit in Wisconsin. That three-point try came without much offensive effort It was a lazy and wasted possession. Seconds later, when Chucky Hepburn aggressively fouled Scott after the Terp forward muscled his way to an offensive rebound, it surely looked like Wisconsin knew their fate. The Terps were up 12 at that point, 61-49.

Maryland was now controlling every facet of the game, including a nice 8-3 advantage in foul shots made. They were also getting quality minutes from Patrick Emilien who was subbing for Reese after Reese collected his 4th foul. Emilien had 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 17 minutes of game time.

The final TV timeout came at 3:48 with Maryland firmly in control, 68-51. Maryland was on an 11-2 run that had ended Wisconsin’s chances of staying in the game. The final score was 73-55.

Maryland physically dominated Wisconsin last night. They were just too strong going to the bucket and the Badgers couldn’t defend it. The Terps pushed Wisconsin around all night and all over the court.

Hart strong-armed his way to several layups, as did Young. Scott asserted himself physically too. I’m sure Wisconsin will point to having 2 road games in three days as a reason they didn’t compete physical, and actually they have a valid point.

I thought Wisconsin abandoned their post-game with Crowl too early and they barely ran the high-quality sets with cutters everywhere. Maybe coach Greg Gard saw the handwriting one the wall and just wanted to get out of the XFINITY Center healthy. This wasn’t the same team that played so physically against Maryland on December 6.

But, give the Terps credit. They had an advantage and they worked it. They were the aggressors last night and they beat up a team that was ready to be exploited. That’s how you win conference games.

On Saturday, the Terps will return to the XFINITY Center for a 4:30 p.m. game against Nebraska. BTN will broadcast the action.


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The Stats Nerd
And His Numbers


Contributed by #DMD's data and numbers analyst
The Stats Nerd


The Capitals are 50 games into the 2022/23 season. Hard to believe but this represents ~60% of the regular season. They are currently in position to be a wild card playoff team but with other teams having games in hand and better form that position is tenuous, to say the least.

The season has been a really odd one for the team. They stumbled out of the gates and looked in really bad shape before Thanksgiving. Then seemed to right the ship with 12 wins in December only to see their mediocre form return in 2023. They are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games and have looked rather listless in those span with 31 goals in the last 11 games.

Here’s the thing, they don’t really do anything particularly well and they don’t really do anything particularly poorly. I went through the stats both traditional and advanced and it looks about like you’d expect: a middle of the pack team fighting for a playoff berth.

Alex Ovechkin has 31 goals to date for the Caps in '22-23 but the club is still battling for an Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Offensively, they are PLUS in goal differential both actual and expected. They are PLUS in shot differential both in raw shots as well as all of the various incarnations of advanced shot metrics. But all of those rankings are only marginally above average and don’t look like a team heading toward a deep playoff run.

In virtually every offensive category the team ranks somewhere between 10th and 16th. Perfectly average in most cases.

In goal the Caps went out and signed last year’s Stanley Cup winner, Darcy Kuemper to a multi year deal. And he too has been, for lack of a better word, average.

Due to injury, Kuemper’s backup, Charlie Lindgren has been pressed into action in 21 games. And if you guessed that his performance was…average…well you win a 1 hour Beatles listening party with Drew!

Oddly, Moneypuck.com really likes the Caps chances if they get into the playoffs to make a bit of a run. I’m not sure why that is though I am guessing their model gives somewhat of a bump to the team for having last year’s Cup winner between the pipes. Only thing I can think of.

As Drew has previously stated, the Caps are in a bit of a weird spot. Their face of the franchise is still scoring goals by the bunch and has blasted into 2nd place on the all time scoring list. As of Wednesday’s writing, Alex Ovechkin sits 83 goals behind Wayne Gretzky’s record. Barring injury or some other issue Ovi should break the record early in the 2024/25 season.

And so the Caps, and the whole league, really, have embraced that countdown. I was at a game in December and the team has a giant hand total that is updated every time the Russian lights the lamp. People go bananas every time they add a new goal to the count.

The NHLs TV partners make a big production of cutting into broadcasts to show goals by the Great 8. Even Wayne Gretzky himself seems to be having fun with it.

But the reality is the Caps don’t really have anything else to market. They are the second oldest team in the league (Penguins are first) and are now nearly 5 years removed from their lone Stanley Cup win. All of their best players not named Tom Wilson are on the back side of 30 (Ovechkin, Oshie, Backstrom, Carlson, even Kuznetsov).

They have added a few new faces this season in the form of Sonny Milano (26), Dylan Strome (25) and Erik Gustaffson (30). But they also have some really dead weight in the form of Lars Eller and Carl Hagelin (who hasn’t even skated this year).

But the real odd player to me is Anthony Mantha. In most cases, analytics data simply reinforces the “eye test”. With Mantha that isn’t the case.

To my eyes and seemingly everyone’s eyes that watches the Caps night in and night out, Mantha is a big, fluid skater that loafs around the rink never going all out. He looks like he is out for a leisurely skate with his kids or something.

That certainly seems to be coach Peter Laviolette’s position as he has scratched Mantha from the line up repeatedly over the last several weeks. Although the NHL trade deadline is March 3rd a lot of chatter is starting to form around Matha.

The thing is, the analytics really like Matha. He’s tied for 5th amongst forwards on the team in points in spite of the scratches and being relegated to 3rd and 4th line minutes when he does play.

For a player known for his shot and offensive prowess, sitting on the bench and playing 12-13 minutes isn’t a recipe for scoring more goals. He rarely gets ice time on the power play and it seems obvious that he and Laviolette are not a good fit.

It’s a shame because he is a big man that skates pretty well and does have a wicked shot. But paying a player nearly $5 Million to be scratched on the regular is not a long term solution. The handwriting seems to be on the wall that Mantha will get moved prior to the trade deadline.

The NHL season is a long one. Perhaps too long in many ways. There are always ups and downs, periods of hot and cold play if you will. I fully expect the Caps to have another good run where they win 10 of 14 and secure a trip back to the postseason.

But that is hardly assured. And if they get there as a Wild Card it’s hard to imagine them having the talent to beat, say Boston or Carolina in a 7 game series. It seems like another year of one and done is the most likely outcome for this aging team.

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#dmd comments








larry     February 03
Duke coach is making a stink and blaming "the world" for that mix up?? If the players didn't notice after one or two possessions, well not sure what to say there. That Duke team must stink if it took 20 minutes of play to realize they had the wrong ball.

hank     February 03
Hard to decide who is the bigger curmudgeon these days, @MFC or @UTB. @UTB, we are from the same generation, and I used to b*tch and moan about a lot of the stuff that you do as well, then finally decided WTH am I doing? We are on the back 9 brother, find things that you enjoy, that make you happy, and focus on those things. Leave all the bellyaching to the young twitter dopes who think they know everything! None of them know even 20% of what us old farts know. God bless brother!

Unitastoberry     February 03
Thanks CIK. Forgot about sleeve ball Al Davis. Perhaps it's time for a MLB owner to challenge the league on franchise relocation? Maybe Fredo is working with Hyman Roth on that? Lol

Ken     February 03
Five predictions from Drew's lead article today.



1. Ravens sign Lamar to 3 year $140 million deal that's all guaranteed.

2. Canales of Seattle is the new O.C.

3. Caps make playoffs lose in first round to Carolina.

4. Tiger wins a tournament this year but not a major and then retires.

5. Terps are a 4 seed in NCAA tourney and lose in 2nd round.

Joe     February 03
The Wizards are wildly inconsistent this year, going 3-14 during one stretch along with a 4, a 5, and a 6 game winning streak. They are a better team than last year, as Kristaps Porzingis has been relatively injury free and Bradley Beal has actually started distributing the basketball. Kyle Kuzma is a legit scorer, but also a pending free agent so he could possibly be traded by next week's deadline. They did trade Rui Hachimura two weeks ago to the Lakers, who was a solid player but literally doesn't pass the ball, averaging less than an assist per game in over 20 minutes a game (which is hard to do).



I have been a fan since the Baltimore Bullet days, and miss the success of Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes ...

CIK     February 03
@David R

The fact that nobody could immediately feel the difference in the ball is puzzling. My guess is they were using the correct ball. As soon as you play with a women’s ball, you realize it’s much easier to handle and shoot.

CIK     February 03
@U2B

I am sure the NFL has the same language in the owners contracts. The problem is that Al Davis challenged that and beat the NFL in court. So there is precedent to move and not have to get “approval”.

David Rosenfeld     February 03
Wanted to comment about the first thing in the Breakfast Bytes. The Duke coach says that "this would never happen in a men's game." I've actually seen it happen, the teams realized after a minute that they were using a women's ball, and the ball was switched. She said cryptically that "you can figure out who the people are" that failed in this situation. Can you? It could have been a variety of things...like, there is an entire rack of balls for warmups, were they all women's balls and did this get put into the rack by accident? The person who brings the rack out onto the court might be a 19-year-old team manager or a random facilities person. I've never seen a game where the refs don't check the ball before the game. They didn't notice? Seems a bit odd, and something to kind of laugh about in retrospect instead of making a federal case about.

TimD in Timonium     February 03
Regular updates & news about The Wiz? Yawn. Pass.



I'm not an NBA guy, but I have been watching LeBron play lately. Averaging 30 a night and is a week away from becoming the all-time NBA scoring leader. Amazing.



Orioles. Caps. College lax. (Almost) March Madness. Plenty of good stuff to see / talk about.




MFC     February 03
Dog days, you could be a Tar Heel fan and watch the #1 ranked team (first week) fall out of the top 25 and "may" not get an NCAA bid. The NIL "sponsors" want their money back. Not to worry as Bacot rides around Chapel Hill in his Carolina Blue Audi Q8. Also, an interesting article in the NY Times about the NIL and how it's siphoning off $$$ that used to go directly into the general funds of athletic programs. And how about Alabama football where a d-back wanted $800,000 to play there and Nick said, "this may not be the right school for you".But his QB got a million, it pays to be an offensive player, especially QB.



Lady Terps got beat in IOWA last night as this kid Clark goes off for 42, she is a player. Game ended after 11, how are those 9 AM classes going today?



I'm so sick and tired of these basketball officials going to the replay for everything. Dragging the games down. I know it's important to get the call right but it's really getting out of hand.

Unitastoberry     February 03
So NFL teams can move whenever and MLB teams have to get the other owners approval. That's interesting. What's also interesting is that most MLB owners hate Angelos because he backed a union work stoppage but he's not anything about paying players top money since the Albert Belle fiasco. He's a hypocrite. They ruined baseball for me and others in my age group during the prime of my life in Baltimore. This nucleus of draft picks now will end up like the mid 90s and mid 2010s nucleus. Sold off unless there's a new owner.

Karl     February 03
Cleveland has 3 teams, Philly , Washington, but yet this town barely can sustain NFL and MLB and complain that UMD doesnt market here….bottom 5 in attendance for MLB- a wonder why any business owner would not move to Nashville- and NFL didnt want to be here….if attendance to games falter ….will their reasoning be true….at least we have the Ironbirds and Ferrous!

lou@palo alto     February 02
Ah, Steve--# 32 Browns, 19 Colts-livin the dream!!!

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Comparing players from different eras is not feasible .Jim Brown from the 1960s is considered by many to be the greatest running back of all time,; however he never faced linebackers with 4.5 speed .His cutback style against the grain like they did in those days doesn't fly in today's game

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
@U2B- I was 6 when Johnny U took his last snap on 33rd street so I never got to see him play. I would have liked to. But you and @Lou are correct, it is apples to peaches when comparing the Brady football era with the Johnny U football era. What I don't think can be argued very far is the statement, they both reigned as best of their time.

MFC     February 02
Bob S, I think "the Stallion" passed away, "bingo baby". Loved his spots on local tv in OC. He was the best. (If he passed, which I think he did, hope I'm wrong)



SUCH, I think there's a lot of "free" money around. Given the gambling and the future cannabis revenue. That's why no taxes raised in state of state speech. I think that's where the piggy bank is. I'm fine on the expenditure if it keeps the O's in town.

Such     February 02
I'm beginning to have serious doubts about this Angelos fella who has taken unilateral control of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball Club.

I'm not an English professor, so I had to look up "paradigm", which it turns out is defined as "a typical example or pattern of something; a model". I also had to re-read his quote a few times to try and deconstruct all of the PR farm byproduct contained therein.

I'm not entirely sure how a guy who has been Governor of the state for less than a month has "the vision and commitment" to revitalize Downtown Baltimore by pumping a half a billion dollars into a baseball park, but I'm fairly certain I could do a lot of good with that kind of public money too. Call me a cynic while you get off my lawn.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't get the warm and fuzzies from Angelos fils. He strikes me as entitled and condescending. At least his old man was a civic benefactor who actually spent his time in the city. This guy will be laughing all the way to the bank in Nashville with his loot.

The sooner the organization is sold, the better. I realize what that's contingent upon, and I'm not rooting for it, but it will be a better day for this team and its fans when a new ownership group is running things.

Unitastoberry     February 02
Unitas played in 5 title games. He lost 2 won 3. In SB 3 he was about 55% came off the bench(Throwing arm elbow Tendonitis) for Morrall halfway in the 3rd quarter moved the team and threw an interception in the end zone. His 40239 passing yards from 1955-1973 is equivelent to 80000-90000 today. 3 time MVP. I never liked Brady until he got old. He was a stud stat wise and championship wise. Yes he did benefit from numerous rule changes, longer seasons,better surgical techniques, year round training, and huge mega million dollar deals. Unitas has none of that. After his torn up and civil war style knee surgery he started to go south along with a torn achilles, and nagging tendonitits and no doubt arthritis. The man was beaten to a pulp. But I have to say those 7 rings Brady has along with the stats and MVPs makes him the goat. But hear this youngsters. Unitas is still the best pro QB Baltimore has ever had and his last snap on 33rd street was in 1972. Half a century ago.

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
Because he played on the Patriots, anytime they played the Ravens I wanted to see Brady getting up after each play looking through his ear hole. But at the tail of his career there and especially with TB, I came to appreciate his level of performance. It may not be in the category of Cal's consecutive game streak and or Cy Young's 511 wins but it's quite remarkable what he's done and I just don't see another QB winning 7 SBs and also breaking his records for passing yards and TD passes.

Speaking of Super Bowl? I'm sure you all heard of the ticket prices to attend this year. I really enjoy attending a couple Ravens games per year and obviously root hard for them to win but there is no way I'm ever paying that type of money for a ticket... plus airfare, hotel, food, drinks. For a football game? No chance. Well, unless I win the mega-millions. Like I said, no chance.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     February 02
Drew, it's great to see you bringing Bobby Vermillion and "Endless Golf" on at DMD!

Now all you need to do is get Bobby's old partner "The Stallion" on board for his gambling picks!

lou@palo alto     February 02
there is no comparing the modern QB position to Johnny U: can't hit the QB or receiver, OL w different rules, 12 games per yr & call your own plays, too many teams--fyi

larry     February 02
A for profit business being all about the money, say it ain't so! Why in the world would the Orioles, or the Ravens, want only to be "a good citizen"? Newsflash, they are business entities, NOT citizens!

@MFC is correct too. The city needs to revitalize inner harbor back into the crown jewel it used to be, and with Port Covington development, the whole downtown area, including Canton, Fells Point, Fed Hill, etc could generate an insane amount of economic activity. But, you have to make the city safe. At least that part of the city.

Is this mayor up for that? He wants to remember his roots and all, but part of making the city safe is doing things his political party likes to be "outraged" about. Do they have the stones to crack down on things past administrations seemingly turned a blind eye to? And face the wrath of the "outrage for profit" crowd? I sure hope so, cause Baltimore could certainly use an economic revitalization and all the jobs that comes with. What better way to help your impoverished citizens?

Delray Rick     February 02
BRADY the BABE RUTH of football

Jason M     February 02
Brady was the best I ever got to watch, and like #52, I feel privileged that we got to watch one of the all time greats do his thing. I used to hate him for being such a Raven Killer, but hell after awhile you need to give credit where credit is due, and I have probably spent the last decade of his career as an admirer. The stats on his durability are a great and not often cited insight - no missed games for injury since 2008 - Brady is Iron Man.



I think you'll see big crowds at Fan Fest this weekend. I am bullish on the future of the city, 3 James Beard nominated restaurants, Broadway productions at the Hippo, MLB at the Yard and NFL across the way. You're not getting that in Westminster, Columbia or Frederick, as safe as those places are.

MFC     February 02
We have a complex 2 blocks away called the inner harbor, which is supposed to have a major makeover. Port Covington is advancing rapidly, lets take advantage of that. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area. What we need is a safe city. Let's solve that. No squeegee "kids", lots of police presence to feel safe walking the city. People will go downtown if they feel safe.

And let's get the players to be involved in the city. A major outreach program would do miracles and not just with the Oriole Bird.

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Call me cynical but this new Camden Yard complex will be finished when the rebuilt Pimlico Race Course is completed.

Our refurbished downtown arena is going to still be an outdated facility.

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 02
Im surprised idiots online continue to fall for the Os moving nonsense. The Sun perfectly outlined why it behooves the Os not to sign a 5 yr lease causing unfavorable provisions to roll over, plus the 600 mil coming their way let alone the 3 or 4 billion sale price in 2 or 3 years or the fact that MLB has blocked SF, Oak, TB and everybody else thats tried to move without permission the last 70 years. Os are proving the old saying youll never go broke betting on the American public's gullibility.

Vince     February 01
Brady done?....

Or is his movie tanking and this is a ploy to get folks in the theater?

Stats Nerd     February 01
@Howard everything I have heard seems to indicate Exclusive. The consensus seems to be that he is worth more than simply the 2 1sts that non-exclusive carries with it. Of course they could use non-exclusive and still trade him for more than the 2 firsts but it's maybe not as clean

Howard     February 01
Which franchise tag for Lamar? I would favor the non-exclusive tag. If he signs a reasonable contract with another team the Ravens can match it. If the Ravens do not want to match it, they get number one picks in 2023 and 2024. Most importantly, if no one offers him, his 2023 salary is $32 million rather than $45 million, meaning that EDC would not have to blow up the team in order to get under the cap

David Rosenfeld     February 01
Dale as you said the home/road FT disparity is hardly new. Nor is the fact that teams play better at home. I just think some of the stretches the team has had on the road have been horrendous. By the time it's 21-4 or 17-4 or 25-11 or whatever, it's hard to even take the stats for the rest of the game seriously.

I think you hit the nail on the head about last night. Seems silly to say 18 pts and 20 rebounds is making it hard on a guy but it really was...it's a team game that requires a lot more than one guy to win.

hal     February 01
What exactly does "open their books" even mean? So many fans just parrot the media in that regard, what specific financial data do people want to see. More importantly, how much true financial data would a fan or media member even understand?

Ala the BP lunatic, people think they will easily see "that crooked family made two billion $ over the last 10 years" and then pretend "they coulda bought baseball players with that money". These are the same people who say Bisciotti "made" $3B because he paid 750K for Ravens and they could be sold for $4B now.

As for moving, if the O's don't sign a long term lease and eventually move, we need to hold Mayor Scott and Gov Moore accountable. John A claims these two as "personal friends", so how can a lease extension not already be done? I am aware Irsay flat out lied to Schaefer years ago, but Billy Don never claimed that drunken stooge was a personal friend of his, this would be way worse than what happened in 1984. Media should stop chasing Angelos and start chasing B Scott.

Such     February 01
Of more interest than "opening the books" (HaHaHa!) is whether John Angelos signs the one-year lease extension by the end of today. That will be the best indicator of his intentions about the future of the Orioles in Baltimore. His reluctance to do so has me thinking that the Nashville rumors might have some fire and not just smoke.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I can see a scenario where the Orioles go to Nashville and the Oakland A's move here. When billionaires are involved, anything is possible.

Jason M     February 01
They should have a special accounting area set up at fan fest where the P&L can be viewed and audited. They could have the fans get interactive and track how much of their cash made it to the teams bottom line. Talk about interactive and fun for the whole family!

lou@palo alto     February 01
yes, spy is better having played both many times. will be at pebble tho this sat, walking around the turn where u can see holes 8-13--by far the best walking holes for fans

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Youre right Larry. Im only right when i bet the opposite of what Dale predicts. Im not a hater im a thanker!!

CIK     February 01
Dale provides excellent coverage of Terps basketball. His coverage and analysis is thorough and thoughtful. But to say he is hitting 80% winners is preposterous. Just because you write a nice blog doesn’t mean you are “sharp” when picking games.

MFC     February 01
Agree 100% on the Spyglass take, a much better and significantly harder course.



Picking basketball scores might be the hardest of all there are so many variables. Dales does a great job with his reporting and insight how about just enjoying that. If you're placing bets based on his projections the fault lies with you, not him.



TB 12 ruined his marriage for that season?

Josh     February 01
Tom Brady “retiring…for good”. Sure, we’ll see about that

Frank D     February 01
Sooooo - now we can sign Tom Brady for one year and win us another SB??????

Unitastoberry     February 01
As for Angelo's LLC aka Oriole's books. A bird told flew in the window at the warehouse and reported that despite virtually paying nobody but Chris Davis since 1997 they have made a billion plus and paid very little in taxes. The bird was then eaten by a hungry hawk. No further details are available. Remember feed your feathered friends in the cold weather months.

Larry     February 01
Eric in Gaithersburg has never been wrong. Don't you guys all know that?

Creston     February 01
I have followed Dale Williams since he started writing here and I'd put his hoops knowledge up against any of you clowns who criticize him for his predictions.

He probably gets 80% of the games/outcomes right but you clowns only worry about the 20%. Go back to your moms basement clowns and let the basketball guy handle the basketball analysis. Great job Dale!

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Dale wrong as usual! He should do a radio show with Cowherd and Francesa. Backaftathis twitter account would commit suicide from over work. Meanwhile the lame played out Michael Jordan twitter memes from "Turgeon" have oddly disappeared. Never understood that lame flex- look at the new guy failing to dig out the mess i left him? Willard not only deserves coach of the year he also currently 18th ranked recruiting class. Brighter days finally here

Delray RICK     February 01
Read on internet bout KELCE Brothers from their mom when they grew up. HILARIOUS!!

Kevin     January 31
Another spot on prediction by #Dale.

Jk     January 31
Drew......back on the radio. He just announced on Twitter. Welcome back Drew.

hal     January 31
SOD loyalists "RC" and "Geno" must have missed the part where DMD also stated quite clearly that MSJ most certainly did NOT "run up the score" vs CHC. MFC might be being kind saying those guys need a session or two of RC 101, they might need new eyeglasses!

TimD in Timonium     January 31
@Hank, you are correct, sir. LB Roquan Smith has no agent. I thought I'd read he did have one last August, but I'm mistaken. No agent. Got the deal done.

Bobby     January 31
@CIK maybe you should have just stopped at.....



" Nobody knows because Lamar doesn’t put much out there."

Wednesday
January 25, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3075


this, that and the other


One thing about these post-Ravens-football "dog days" is I get around to writing about things that might normally find their way to the back burner.

Some of these things might interest you. Some of them might not. Feel free to absorb what you want and brush past topics that don't grab you. No hard feelings.

Speaking of "no hard feelings", I thought the Orioles were opening their books this week?? Isn't that what John Angelos told Dan Connolly last Monday when he chided him during a press conference?

"You can come to my office next week and I'll gladly open the Orioles books..."

I get it. The week isn't over yet. But it's Wednesday and we've heard nothing from Connolly or anyone else about an invitation from the Orioles to examine their books.

We all know the Orioles aren't opening their books. Not to Connolly. Not to the media in general. Not to anyone.

They're still in dispute with MASN. There's an ugly, public lawsuit between family members. There's not an attorney, anywhere, who would tell John Angelos to open the books for everyone to see and critique.

No hard feelings, John, but no one in town ever thought you were going to follow through with that promise.


In an effort to not conflict with either football game this Sunday, the PGA Tour is starting this week's event at Torrey Pines today instead of Thursday. Golf will end on Saturday in La Jolla and the AFC and NFC title games will have center stage on Sunday.

That's a smart move by the TOUR, I'd say.

It also means we're giving out our tournament favorites today instead of tomorrow. You'll find those below. Happy wagering.

Jon Rahm's 20-footer for birdie at the 72nd hole gave him the 2021 U.S. Open by one shot.

I've had the luxury of playing both courses at Torrey Pines. They're both excellent, but the South is the one with the prestige and the one that hosted the U.S. Open in 2008 and again in 2021.

You might recall both of those events featured dramatic finishes.

Tiger beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff on Monday -- on a broken leg, no less -- in 2008, which turned out to be, up until now, his next-to-last major championship. That title, given Tiger's ailing leg, is still his Mona Lisa.

Sure, he beat the field by 100 shots at Augusta in 1997 and then beat the field by 150 shots at Pebble Beach three years later, but in neither of those events was he even tested. He put his tee in the ground on Sunday morning in both of those tournaments knowing they were over.

At Torrey Pines in 2008, he had to make a 12-footer on the 72nd hole just to get into the playoff with Mediate, then was forced to roll in a dicey 4-footer on the 18th hole on Monday to send the event to sudden death. Woods made par on the first extra hole and Mediate made bogey -- and Tiger had his 14th career major championship.

In 2021, Jon Rahm birdied 17 and 18 to snag the tournament from Louis Oosthuizen, who didn't help his cause by hitting his tee shot on ##17 into the penalty area that bordered the left side of the fairway.

Rahm's putting on the last two holes was near miraculous, as both efforts were above the hole and difficult. In each case, a miss would have likely left the Spaniard with 8-10 feet left for par. Instead, both birdie putts found the center of the cup and Rahm won his first major title.

Torrey Pines is in La Jolla, California, which, honestly, might be the greatest stretch of land in our great country. There's "scenic", there's "gorgeous", there's "breathtaking" and, then, there's La Jolla. It's definitely a step up from Glen Burnie.

Through my years in the soccer business, I've been to San Diego upwards of 30 times in my life. A friend of mine lives out there now, so I generally make at least one annual trip to San Diego to see him.

Every time I've been out there, I say the same thing: "How does anyone ever leave this place?"

A few years ago, I played in a charity golf outing to benefit the Navy Seals at Coranado Golf Club on Coronado Island. To this day, it remains one of my best golf memories ever. I met Navy Seals past and present, learned all about what sacrifices they make to attain Seal "status" and heard story after story about the search for Osama bin Laden and how the Seals spent every waking hour in the months before his capture preparing themselves for the invasion of his compound.

San Diego and La Jolla are two incredible places. If you ever get the chance, get out there. It's "bucket list worthy", for sure.


You will probably recall that several times over the last few years, I've championed the cause of Scott Rolen for selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

After narrowly missing out a year ago, Scott Rolen finally made the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday.

I was ecstatic yesterday when it was announced that Rolen gained enough votes for Cooperstown. He's going to the Hall of Fame.

But, almost predictably, the story yesterday was more about who didn't get in.

Alex Rodriguez - no.

Manny Ramirez - no.

Gary Sheffield - no.

Todd Helton - no.

Andruw Jones - no.

We know why A-Rod and Manny weren't selected. They were steroid users. Rodriguez was named on 35.7% of the ballots. Ramirez earned a vote on 33.2% of the ballots. A player has to be named on at least 75% of the ballots to gain entry into Cooperstown. Rolen earned a vote on 76.3% of the ballots.

Sheffield (55%) was up in voting from a year ago, but still fell short in his 9th year of eligibility. Next year will be his 10th and final year on the ballot. Sheffield never tested positive for PED's in his career, but his name did appear in the Mitchell Report in 2007.

Andruw Jones (68%) moved up as well and has a fairly good shot at selection in 2024.

Todd Helton came close this year (72.2%) and would appear to be almost a shoo-in for selection next year.

Alas, those names and close calls overshadowed a well-deserved selection for Rolen, an 8-time Gold Glove winner who was also a 7-time All-Star during his 17 year career. It took a while...but Rolen finally got the call he had been waiting for in recent years.


Someone asked me yesterday to "handicap the candidates" for the vacant Ravens offensive coordinator position and I shrugged and said, "Who knows?"

The inside track within the building belongs to James Urban. That much I do know. A team associate tells me Tee Martin is no longer under consideration.

Could Derek Carr be a good short term solution at QB for the Ravens if they can't sign Lamar Jackson to an extension?

Several prospects from other teams are viable possibilities; Chad O'Shea (Cleveland), Zac Robinson (L.A. Rams), Frank Reich (Colts) and Justin Outten (Denver) are among those John Harbaugh and his staff will be evaluating.

"Robinson is a very intriguing candidate," the team associate says. "It's not his job to lose or anything that extreme, but he has a lot of positive qualities. I suspect he'll be a finalist for the position. Other teams are going to covet him as well which might mean we (Ravens) have to make an offer fairly soon."

Urban is the one guy everyone knows at 1 Winning Drive. Whether he is ready for the move is the question Harbaugh and Company have to answer. And they can't be wrong, either. This is a critical hire for the Ravens.

Outsiders coming into the organization will be drinking from the fire hose, so to speak. But there's a positive and a negative to coming in from, say, Denver or Cleveland, and having no real prior knowledge of the personnel, scheme, etc.

The negative? You have to learn about everyone. That takes some time. You have to figure out what makes them tick. Determine what they do best. You have to start from the ground floor, basically.

The positive? You should be coming into a situation with zero expectations or reasons for bias. You know nothing about anyone. You're not predisposed to liking or not liking anyone on the offensive side of the ball. Everyone starts from the same lane.

Oh, and it's not like the Ravens left the new guy with a bare cupboard. With or without Lamar Jackson, the offensive coordinator will have two solid running backs, a good offensive line, an All-Pro tight end, and a few other key pieces to add into the mix.

Sure, having Lamar would help. And having Lamar in the fold in the next week or so would make the position even more attractive.

It's likely, though, that the Ravens and Lamar won't have a deal done before the Super Bowl. I would assume the Ravens want their offensive coordinator signed, sealed and delivered before February 12.

So, yes, there's a chance the Ravens won't have Lamar to hand over to the new coordinator. Maybe it's a short term solution like Derek Carr or Jacoby Brissett. Maybe it's Teddy Bridgewater. None of those three have the cachet of Lamar Jackson, but none of them cost 45 or 50 million dollars a year, either.

Meanwhile, here's something to keep in mind for the 2023 campaign.

The Ravens play the Chargers (away), Colts (home) and Cardinals (away) next season. Greg Roman will likely interview for the offensive coordinator position at all three of those clubs. There's a decent chance he lands with one of them.

Wouldn't that make for a fun week of sports talk in Baltimore?


As I mentioned above, the Farmers Insurance Open begins today at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California.

The course has been hit with a lot of rain recently, which should make both courses play longer than normal. Throw in expected winds of 25-35 MPH over the next few days and you could see U.S. Open type scores at this year's event. It might not be 6-under that wins (what Rahm shot in '21), but I could see 12 under being the best score come Saturday afternoon.

Here are four names I see fighting it out for the title and three longshots you can play if you don't mind taking a gamble on a guy who could win or miss the cut by 4 shots.

Can Max Homa win in his native California this week? #DMD thinks he can.

It's impossible to not play Jon Rahm this week, even though it's unlikely he can win three events in a row. Rahm is +400, tops in the field, but he's coming into the event on a massive heater and Torrey Pines is a great fit for him, particularly if the weather continues to be unsettled. If you're wagering on this event, you can't pass on Rahm.

This feels like a tournament tailor made for Xander Schauffele, a San Diego native with extensive experience at Torrey Pines. He comes into this event on the heels of a T3 at the American Express Championship last weekend. "X" is currently +1200. I love his chances to enter the winner's circle on Saturday.

I'm such a Max Homa fan that I feel like I'll probably throw something on him virtually every time he tees it up this year. At +2200 this week, he's in a perfect spot to provide you with a nice return on your investment. I like the fact that the weather and course might be tougher-than-usual at Torrey Pines. That fits Homa like a glove. He's just the guy who will plod along, not let anything bother him, and hang around long enough to win.

It's been a while since Jason Day was considered among the game's elite, but his recent form has certainly been impressive and it looks like he might be on the verge of a return to the winner's circle sometime soon. At +2700 this week, you could do a lot worse than taking a chance on the former PGA champion. He's won the Farmers twice previously and always seems to find his game when the TOUR makes its way to Torrey Pines.

A few longshots? You want longshots? No problem. We have three for you.

If you remember back to the '21 U.S. Open, Harris English was hanging around the leaderboard all weekend before finishing in the top 5 at Torrey Pines. I love his chances this week and the +6000 odds make him even more of an attractive option.

I feel like Adam Hadwin is a good longshot wager in every event he plays. This week he's at +9500. Hadwin is a gifted, yet underrated player. He's the kind of guy -- like Tony Finau was -- who might win two or three times in a 3 month span once he wins once.

Byeong Hun (Ben) An is on the fast track back to the PGA Tour after moving in and out of the Korn Ferry Tour in '20 and '21. His game is on the upswing and while it might be a tad ambitious to think he can win this week, I'd hate to pass on him at +15000 and see him pull out a victory on Saturday.

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terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


terps host wisconsin tonight


There are many reasons to believe that tonight, starting at 7 pm, the Maryland Terrapins will reverse their fortunes from an early season 64-59 loss to the Wisconsin Badgers. The linemakers are with me, having installed the Terps as a 5.5-point favorite.

First on my list of things that won’t repeat tonight in College Park from the previous game in Madison is the advantage at the foul line that the Badgers enjoyed. They’ll be in the XFINITY Center tonight and there’s no way possible that the foul shot stat line will show Wisconsin with 27 attempts and the Terps with just 12. That’s not usually how Big Ten basketball works.

Next on my list of things that won’t happen again is the 2 for 17 shooting that the Terps posted in the last 7 minutes of that game. In that contest’s second half, only one Terp made more than 1 field goal (Jahmir Young with 4). Take away Jahmir Young’s 4-8 second half shooting, and the remainder of the Terrapin starters made just 3 of 15 shots. That will never happen with the Terps at home.

#DMD's Dale Williams says Maryland needs a big game from Donta Scott when Wisconsin visits College Park.

I think it plays well that Maryland outrebounded the Badgers by 7, including 5 on the offensive glass. Look for that trend to continue this evening.

An area in which Maryland must improve is their coverage of the vast array of Wisconsin cutters. The Badgers run cutters from all directions, with and without screens. Too many Terp defenders got caught watching the action and forgot to defend their assignment.

Wisconsin made them pay in the last game with 14 assisted baskets and a 24-18 advantage in points in the paint. This is something that can be worked out and improved upon. Let’s hope Kevin Willard emphasized this in their team practices. It’s essential.

I’m not so sure that Maryland can, again, shoot 42% from the three-point line, including 45% in the game’s final 20 minutes. That second half number included 3 out of 4 from Young. We certainly can‘t expect a reoccurrence of that type of long range shooting efficiency from the Terrapin point guard, or the team for that matter.

I’m not ready to say that Maryland won’t improve upon their recent sub-30% home court three-point percentage, but getting it up to 42% might be a stretch.

I’m watching the replay of the December 6th game and I see nothing that convinces me Wisconsin will pull off this road win. Of course, the three pointer is always the great equalizer and if Wisconsin gets hot they could score in bunches. They lofted 31 triple attempts in their game on Monday at Northwestern (more on that game in a moment).

With Wisconsin’s two most frequent 3-point shooters, Conner Essegian and Chucky Hepburn, knocking down 43.7% and 46.3% respectively, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for the Terps to get lit up from beyond the arc. Here’s where a proper game plan is required.

Maryland, currently at 3-5 in the Big Ten, will advance to 4-5 if they can put the clamps on Wisconsin’s cutting game and keep center, Steven Crowl, from going one on one in the paint. He loves to pass the ball anyway, so make him pickup his dribble and hit Tyler Wahl or Jordan Davis on the outside. Overplay the cut from those two. Limit the three point looks from Essegian and Hepburn, and a victory is assured.

Back to the Northwestern game. That tilt was scheduled for Saturday, but got moved due to covid. The Badgers played at Northwestern on Monday at 5:30 central, then turned around and traveled to College Park for a tonight’s game. There was a ton of grumbling from the Badger administration. The short gap between consecutive road games surely helps Maryland’s cause.

The Terps will also be helped by the absence of starting guard, Max Klesmit. A head injury will require replacement of his 30 minutes per game.

This should be another good, close, contest that will excite the Maryland fans. I’m not so sure about those 5.5 points, but a Terrapin win is probable. We’ll get another solid College Park performance by Young and a much-needed break out game from Donta Scott to help the Terps to a 68-64 win.

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#dmd comments








larry     February 03
Duke coach is making a stink and blaming "the world" for that mix up?? If the players didn't notice after one or two possessions, well not sure what to say there. That Duke team must stink if it took 20 minutes of play to realize they had the wrong ball.

hank     February 03
Hard to decide who is the bigger curmudgeon these days, @MFC or @UTB. @UTB, we are from the same generation, and I used to b*tch and moan about a lot of the stuff that you do as well, then finally decided WTH am I doing? We are on the back 9 brother, find things that you enjoy, that make you happy, and focus on those things. Leave all the bellyaching to the young twitter dopes who think they know everything! None of them know even 20% of what us old farts know. God bless brother!

Unitastoberry     February 03
Thanks CIK. Forgot about sleeve ball Al Davis. Perhaps it's time for a MLB owner to challenge the league on franchise relocation? Maybe Fredo is working with Hyman Roth on that? Lol

Ken     February 03
Five predictions from Drew's lead article today.



1. Ravens sign Lamar to 3 year $140 million deal that's all guaranteed.

2. Canales of Seattle is the new O.C.

3. Caps make playoffs lose in first round to Carolina.

4. Tiger wins a tournament this year but not a major and then retires.

5. Terps are a 4 seed in NCAA tourney and lose in 2nd round.

Joe     February 03
The Wizards are wildly inconsistent this year, going 3-14 during one stretch along with a 4, a 5, and a 6 game winning streak. They are a better team than last year, as Kristaps Porzingis has been relatively injury free and Bradley Beal has actually started distributing the basketball. Kyle Kuzma is a legit scorer, but also a pending free agent so he could possibly be traded by next week's deadline. They did trade Rui Hachimura two weeks ago to the Lakers, who was a solid player but literally doesn't pass the ball, averaging less than an assist per game in over 20 minutes a game (which is hard to do).



I have been a fan since the Baltimore Bullet days, and miss the success of Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes ...

CIK     February 03
@David R

The fact that nobody could immediately feel the difference in the ball is puzzling. My guess is they were using the correct ball. As soon as you play with a women’s ball, you realize it’s much easier to handle and shoot.

CIK     February 03
@U2B

I am sure the NFL has the same language in the owners contracts. The problem is that Al Davis challenged that and beat the NFL in court. So there is precedent to move and not have to get “approval”.

David Rosenfeld     February 03
Wanted to comment about the first thing in the Breakfast Bytes. The Duke coach says that "this would never happen in a men's game." I've actually seen it happen, the teams realized after a minute that they were using a women's ball, and the ball was switched. She said cryptically that "you can figure out who the people are" that failed in this situation. Can you? It could have been a variety of things...like, there is an entire rack of balls for warmups, were they all women's balls and did this get put into the rack by accident? The person who brings the rack out onto the court might be a 19-year-old team manager or a random facilities person. I've never seen a game where the refs don't check the ball before the game. They didn't notice? Seems a bit odd, and something to kind of laugh about in retrospect instead of making a federal case about.

TimD in Timonium     February 03
Regular updates & news about The Wiz? Yawn. Pass.



I'm not an NBA guy, but I have been watching LeBron play lately. Averaging 30 a night and is a week away from becoming the all-time NBA scoring leader. Amazing.



Orioles. Caps. College lax. (Almost) March Madness. Plenty of good stuff to see / talk about.




MFC     February 03
Dog days, you could be a Tar Heel fan and watch the #1 ranked team (first week) fall out of the top 25 and "may" not get an NCAA bid. The NIL "sponsors" want their money back. Not to worry as Bacot rides around Chapel Hill in his Carolina Blue Audi Q8. Also, an interesting article in the NY Times about the NIL and how it's siphoning off $$$ that used to go directly into the general funds of athletic programs. And how about Alabama football where a d-back wanted $800,000 to play there and Nick said, "this may not be the right school for you".But his QB got a million, it pays to be an offensive player, especially QB.



Lady Terps got beat in IOWA last night as this kid Clark goes off for 42, she is a player. Game ended after 11, how are those 9 AM classes going today?



I'm so sick and tired of these basketball officials going to the replay for everything. Dragging the games down. I know it's important to get the call right but it's really getting out of hand.

Unitastoberry     February 03
So NFL teams can move whenever and MLB teams have to get the other owners approval. That's interesting. What's also interesting is that most MLB owners hate Angelos because he backed a union work stoppage but he's not anything about paying players top money since the Albert Belle fiasco. He's a hypocrite. They ruined baseball for me and others in my age group during the prime of my life in Baltimore. This nucleus of draft picks now will end up like the mid 90s and mid 2010s nucleus. Sold off unless there's a new owner.

Karl     February 03
Cleveland has 3 teams, Philly , Washington, but yet this town barely can sustain NFL and MLB and complain that UMD doesnt market here….bottom 5 in attendance for MLB- a wonder why any business owner would not move to Nashville- and NFL didnt want to be here….if attendance to games falter ….will their reasoning be true….at least we have the Ironbirds and Ferrous!

lou@palo alto     February 02
Ah, Steve--# 32 Browns, 19 Colts-livin the dream!!!

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Comparing players from different eras is not feasible .Jim Brown from the 1960s is considered by many to be the greatest running back of all time,; however he never faced linebackers with 4.5 speed .His cutback style against the grain like they did in those days doesn't fly in today's game

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
@U2B- I was 6 when Johnny U took his last snap on 33rd street so I never got to see him play. I would have liked to. But you and @Lou are correct, it is apples to peaches when comparing the Brady football era with the Johnny U football era. What I don't think can be argued very far is the statement, they both reigned as best of their time.

MFC     February 02
Bob S, I think "the Stallion" passed away, "bingo baby". Loved his spots on local tv in OC. He was the best. (If he passed, which I think he did, hope I'm wrong)



SUCH, I think there's a lot of "free" money around. Given the gambling and the future cannabis revenue. That's why no taxes raised in state of state speech. I think that's where the piggy bank is. I'm fine on the expenditure if it keeps the O's in town.

Such     February 02
I'm beginning to have serious doubts about this Angelos fella who has taken unilateral control of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball Club.

I'm not an English professor, so I had to look up "paradigm", which it turns out is defined as "a typical example or pattern of something; a model". I also had to re-read his quote a few times to try and deconstruct all of the PR farm byproduct contained therein.

I'm not entirely sure how a guy who has been Governor of the state for less than a month has "the vision and commitment" to revitalize Downtown Baltimore by pumping a half a billion dollars into a baseball park, but I'm fairly certain I could do a lot of good with that kind of public money too. Call me a cynic while you get off my lawn.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't get the warm and fuzzies from Angelos fils. He strikes me as entitled and condescending. At least his old man was a civic benefactor who actually spent his time in the city. This guy will be laughing all the way to the bank in Nashville with his loot.

The sooner the organization is sold, the better. I realize what that's contingent upon, and I'm not rooting for it, but it will be a better day for this team and its fans when a new ownership group is running things.

Unitastoberry     February 02
Unitas played in 5 title games. He lost 2 won 3. In SB 3 he was about 55% came off the bench(Throwing arm elbow Tendonitis) for Morrall halfway in the 3rd quarter moved the team and threw an interception in the end zone. His 40239 passing yards from 1955-1973 is equivelent to 80000-90000 today. 3 time MVP. I never liked Brady until he got old. He was a stud stat wise and championship wise. Yes he did benefit from numerous rule changes, longer seasons,better surgical techniques, year round training, and huge mega million dollar deals. Unitas has none of that. After his torn up and civil war style knee surgery he started to go south along with a torn achilles, and nagging tendonitits and no doubt arthritis. The man was beaten to a pulp. But I have to say those 7 rings Brady has along with the stats and MVPs makes him the goat. But hear this youngsters. Unitas is still the best pro QB Baltimore has ever had and his last snap on 33rd street was in 1972. Half a century ago.

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
Because he played on the Patriots, anytime they played the Ravens I wanted to see Brady getting up after each play looking through his ear hole. But at the tail of his career there and especially with TB, I came to appreciate his level of performance. It may not be in the category of Cal's consecutive game streak and or Cy Young's 511 wins but it's quite remarkable what he's done and I just don't see another QB winning 7 SBs and also breaking his records for passing yards and TD passes.

Speaking of Super Bowl? I'm sure you all heard of the ticket prices to attend this year. I really enjoy attending a couple Ravens games per year and obviously root hard for them to win but there is no way I'm ever paying that type of money for a ticket... plus airfare, hotel, food, drinks. For a football game? No chance. Well, unless I win the mega-millions. Like I said, no chance.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     February 02
Drew, it's great to see you bringing Bobby Vermillion and "Endless Golf" on at DMD!

Now all you need to do is get Bobby's old partner "The Stallion" on board for his gambling picks!

lou@palo alto     February 02
there is no comparing the modern QB position to Johnny U: can't hit the QB or receiver, OL w different rules, 12 games per yr & call your own plays, too many teams--fyi

larry     February 02
A for profit business being all about the money, say it ain't so! Why in the world would the Orioles, or the Ravens, want only to be "a good citizen"? Newsflash, they are business entities, NOT citizens!

@MFC is correct too. The city needs to revitalize inner harbor back into the crown jewel it used to be, and with Port Covington development, the whole downtown area, including Canton, Fells Point, Fed Hill, etc could generate an insane amount of economic activity. But, you have to make the city safe. At least that part of the city.

Is this mayor up for that? He wants to remember his roots and all, but part of making the city safe is doing things his political party likes to be "outraged" about. Do they have the stones to crack down on things past administrations seemingly turned a blind eye to? And face the wrath of the "outrage for profit" crowd? I sure hope so, cause Baltimore could certainly use an economic revitalization and all the jobs that comes with. What better way to help your impoverished citizens?

Delray Rick     February 02
BRADY the BABE RUTH of football

Jason M     February 02
Brady was the best I ever got to watch, and like #52, I feel privileged that we got to watch one of the all time greats do his thing. I used to hate him for being such a Raven Killer, but hell after awhile you need to give credit where credit is due, and I have probably spent the last decade of his career as an admirer. The stats on his durability are a great and not often cited insight - no missed games for injury since 2008 - Brady is Iron Man.



I think you'll see big crowds at Fan Fest this weekend. I am bullish on the future of the city, 3 James Beard nominated restaurants, Broadway productions at the Hippo, MLB at the Yard and NFL across the way. You're not getting that in Westminster, Columbia or Frederick, as safe as those places are.

MFC     February 02
We have a complex 2 blocks away called the inner harbor, which is supposed to have a major makeover. Port Covington is advancing rapidly, lets take advantage of that. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area. What we need is a safe city. Let's solve that. No squeegee "kids", lots of police presence to feel safe walking the city. People will go downtown if they feel safe.

And let's get the players to be involved in the city. A major outreach program would do miracles and not just with the Oriole Bird.

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Call me cynical but this new Camden Yard complex will be finished when the rebuilt Pimlico Race Course is completed.

Our refurbished downtown arena is going to still be an outdated facility.

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 02
Im surprised idiots online continue to fall for the Os moving nonsense. The Sun perfectly outlined why it behooves the Os not to sign a 5 yr lease causing unfavorable provisions to roll over, plus the 600 mil coming their way let alone the 3 or 4 billion sale price in 2 or 3 years or the fact that MLB has blocked SF, Oak, TB and everybody else thats tried to move without permission the last 70 years. Os are proving the old saying youll never go broke betting on the American public's gullibility.

Vince     February 01
Brady done?....

Or is his movie tanking and this is a ploy to get folks in the theater?

Stats Nerd     February 01
@Howard everything I have heard seems to indicate Exclusive. The consensus seems to be that he is worth more than simply the 2 1sts that non-exclusive carries with it. Of course they could use non-exclusive and still trade him for more than the 2 firsts but it's maybe not as clean

Howard     February 01
Which franchise tag for Lamar? I would favor the non-exclusive tag. If he signs a reasonable contract with another team the Ravens can match it. If the Ravens do not want to match it, they get number one picks in 2023 and 2024. Most importantly, if no one offers him, his 2023 salary is $32 million rather than $45 million, meaning that EDC would not have to blow up the team in order to get under the cap

David Rosenfeld     February 01
Dale as you said the home/road FT disparity is hardly new. Nor is the fact that teams play better at home. I just think some of the stretches the team has had on the road have been horrendous. By the time it's 21-4 or 17-4 or 25-11 or whatever, it's hard to even take the stats for the rest of the game seriously.

I think you hit the nail on the head about last night. Seems silly to say 18 pts and 20 rebounds is making it hard on a guy but it really was...it's a team game that requires a lot more than one guy to win.

hal     February 01
What exactly does "open their books" even mean? So many fans just parrot the media in that regard, what specific financial data do people want to see. More importantly, how much true financial data would a fan or media member even understand?

Ala the BP lunatic, people think they will easily see "that crooked family made two billion $ over the last 10 years" and then pretend "they coulda bought baseball players with that money". These are the same people who say Bisciotti "made" $3B because he paid 750K for Ravens and they could be sold for $4B now.

As for moving, if the O's don't sign a long term lease and eventually move, we need to hold Mayor Scott and Gov Moore accountable. John A claims these two as "personal friends", so how can a lease extension not already be done? I am aware Irsay flat out lied to Schaefer years ago, but Billy Don never claimed that drunken stooge was a personal friend of his, this would be way worse than what happened in 1984. Media should stop chasing Angelos and start chasing B Scott.

Such     February 01
Of more interest than "opening the books" (HaHaHa!) is whether John Angelos signs the one-year lease extension by the end of today. That will be the best indicator of his intentions about the future of the Orioles in Baltimore. His reluctance to do so has me thinking that the Nashville rumors might have some fire and not just smoke.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I can see a scenario where the Orioles go to Nashville and the Oakland A's move here. When billionaires are involved, anything is possible.

Jason M     February 01
They should have a special accounting area set up at fan fest where the P&L can be viewed and audited. They could have the fans get interactive and track how much of their cash made it to the teams bottom line. Talk about interactive and fun for the whole family!

lou@palo alto     February 01
yes, spy is better having played both many times. will be at pebble tho this sat, walking around the turn where u can see holes 8-13--by far the best walking holes for fans

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Youre right Larry. Im only right when i bet the opposite of what Dale predicts. Im not a hater im a thanker!!

CIK     February 01
Dale provides excellent coverage of Terps basketball. His coverage and analysis is thorough and thoughtful. But to say he is hitting 80% winners is preposterous. Just because you write a nice blog doesn’t mean you are “sharp” when picking games.

MFC     February 01
Agree 100% on the Spyglass take, a much better and significantly harder course.



Picking basketball scores might be the hardest of all there are so many variables. Dales does a great job with his reporting and insight how about just enjoying that. If you're placing bets based on his projections the fault lies with you, not him.



TB 12 ruined his marriage for that season?

Josh     February 01
Tom Brady “retiring…for good”. Sure, we’ll see about that

Frank D     February 01
Sooooo - now we can sign Tom Brady for one year and win us another SB??????

Unitastoberry     February 01
As for Angelo's LLC aka Oriole's books. A bird told flew in the window at the warehouse and reported that despite virtually paying nobody but Chris Davis since 1997 they have made a billion plus and paid very little in taxes. The bird was then eaten by a hungry hawk. No further details are available. Remember feed your feathered friends in the cold weather months.

Larry     February 01
Eric in Gaithersburg has never been wrong. Don't you guys all know that?

Creston     February 01
I have followed Dale Williams since he started writing here and I'd put his hoops knowledge up against any of you clowns who criticize him for his predictions.

He probably gets 80% of the games/outcomes right but you clowns only worry about the 20%. Go back to your moms basement clowns and let the basketball guy handle the basketball analysis. Great job Dale!

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Dale wrong as usual! He should do a radio show with Cowherd and Francesa. Backaftathis twitter account would commit suicide from over work. Meanwhile the lame played out Michael Jordan twitter memes from "Turgeon" have oddly disappeared. Never understood that lame flex- look at the new guy failing to dig out the mess i left him? Willard not only deserves coach of the year he also currently 18th ranked recruiting class. Brighter days finally here

Delray RICK     February 01
Read on internet bout KELCE Brothers from their mom when they grew up. HILARIOUS!!

Kevin     January 31
Another spot on prediction by #Dale.

Jk     January 31
Drew......back on the radio. He just announced on Twitter. Welcome back Drew.

hal     January 31
SOD loyalists "RC" and "Geno" must have missed the part where DMD also stated quite clearly that MSJ most certainly did NOT "run up the score" vs CHC. MFC might be being kind saying those guys need a session or two of RC 101, they might need new eyeglasses!

TimD in Timonium     January 31
@Hank, you are correct, sir. LB Roquan Smith has no agent. I thought I'd read he did have one last August, but I'm mistaken. No agent. Got the deal done.

Bobby     January 31
@CIK maybe you should have just stopped at.....



" Nobody knows because Lamar doesn’t put much out there."

Tuesday
January 24, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3074


"your website changed my life"


Fun fact: I turn 60 next Monday.

I don't "feel" 60. Well, better put, I don't feel any older this year than I felt last year.

Truth be told, I've had various aches and pains and physical challenges for the better part of a decade now. By no means am I broken down or anything like that, but I find myself battling arthritis and other nagging ailments on a regular basis.

I contracted Lyme disease in 2011, which was right about the time I started to feel the impact of moving into my 50's. Now, at 60, I'm not much worse, but I'm certainly not much better, either.

But it's all good. God has provided me with more than I deserve, frankly. A few aches and pains, kidney stones, and battles with gout are a fair trade off for the grace He has given me over the last 60 years.

This past Friday, God sent me a message that made turning 60 a blip on the radar screen. I post the e-mail below with the permission of the author David Conway.

"Hi Drew, I've posted comments on your Morning Dish website in the past but I've never contacted you personally until today. I want you to know that your website changed my life. I'm 39 years old. I attended church with my parents as a kid but never found it satisfying at all. As an adult I would go on Christmas and maybe at Easter, but for the most part I have been a non church going person throughout my adult life.

A couple of years ago on a Friday, your Morning Dish website had a video of the Clemson football coach. I don't know why I hit play on the video that morning but I did. Every Friday after that for at least two or three months, I watched your Friday morning faith videos. I wanted to know more about God so I decided to find a church near where I live. I started going every Sunday.

Then, on June 6, 2021, I met the woman I'm going to marry this coming September. I met her at my church in Cockeysville. We both signed up to be on the crab feast committee. I had barely even seen her at church prior to that. We started dating in July of 2021 and this September 23rd we'll be married. Your Morning Dish website changed my life. I am now a proud Christian man and anxiously awaiting the day I get to become a husband to Mary Ann. I wanted to write to you to let you know my story and hope you can sense my gratitude for your willingness to showcase your faith on the website.

Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for changing my life for the better. --- David Conway"


"Faith in Sports" is something we've published here at #DMD for the last four years. We've done it every Friday, religiously (no pun intended), since 2019. Our friends at Freestate Electrical have joined us in wanting to provide some sort of faith component at #DMD. We're not overbearing. We're not pushy.

The content is published every Friday with a gentle encouragement to check it out if you're so inclined. That's the end of our "push", so to speak.

I have a lot of friends who aren't as devoted in their faith as I am and I've never once tried to push them in the direction of God and His mysterious works. "Believe in whatever you want to believe in," I say to them. "God loves you either way."

Every Friday when I post a video here, I almost always think the same thing: "I wonder if anyone will watch this and be moved by it?"

I do my best to find good, compelling content to post, but the reality is most people are generally going to stay in their comfort zone when it comes to faith and religion.

As a country, we've gone out of our way over the last 50 years to make people afraid and skeptical of God. So it's only natural for those people to say "no thanks" anytime the topic of faith or God makes its way to them.

But by the grace of this website that I own and publish, I'm free to do whatever I want. I publish whatever I want, about whatever I want, whenever I want.

And, so, on Friday, I post a "Faith in Sports" video and I secretly hope every single person who clicks on the site that day takes a minute to watch the video. I know that doesn't happen, of course. But that's my hope.

And for the exact reasons that David Conway spelled out in his e-mail, I also secretly hope someone watching the video will be impacted by it in some way, shape or form.

For all I know, on that day a few years back when David watched the video featuring Dabo Swinney, maybe he was the only one who clicked on the video that morning. Who knows??

But when he clicked on it, David says his life was changed.

He discovered God, he found a church and he met his wife-to-be.

All because, David says, he clicked on a "Faith in Sports" video we published here.

I'd say that's pretty daggone cool.

I'm a little too old for birthday gifts at this point. My 12-year old daughter asked me last night what I want for my birthday and like any doting father, I just said, "A bunch of hugs from you."

But while I don't "need" any gifts, I got one anyway. Last Friday, ten days early, God sent David Conway and his e-mail along.

I can sit at the table and write about sports every day of my life. It's fun. I enjoy doing it.

But I don't get "your website changed my life" e-mails every day. So, whether I'm turning 60 or not, that e-mail and message from David reminded me that God is always at work.

Thank you, David, for shining a light on "Faith in Sports" here at Drew's Morning Dish. If you're the only one we've impacted to that degree in four years, it's been well worth it, my friend.

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tuesday q and a


I'm going to try to knock out a bunch of recent questions that have been submitted for Q & A here at #DMD.

As long as something crazy doesn't happen and the Ravens make a major move or the Orioles open their books to the media, we should have some "empty days" around here to help me get to the questions.

My guess is the Ravens won't hire an offensive coordinator for at least another week. And the Orioles books? I'm guessing those stay closed.

Anyway, here we go.


Pat C. asks -- "Hey Drew, hoping you might play along with this just for fun and make it part of your Q&A mailbag column. Do you have one reasonable but scorching hot take about the Ravens you can share with the rest of us?"

DF says -- "Reasonable but scorching hot take? I don't know if those words fit together. Kind of like "Beatles" and "outstanding" or "Flyers" and "noble". Those words just don't connect. Alas, I'll try.

Here's a reasonable, scorching hot take: I'd trade Mark Andrews for a quality young wide receiver in a heartbeat. I'm not "down" on Mark Andrews or anything like that. I think he's a fantastic player. But if there was a team with a proven, quality young wide receiver and they wanted to move him (think Diggs when he was in Minnesota or Hill in Kansas City) and Andrews became part of the trade package, I'd be OK with that.

The Ravens already have Likely and it's "likely" -- ha ha -- that Charlie Kolar might be a solid NFL tight end as well. Draft another one at some point in 2023 or 2024 and beef up that position if you have to move Andrews.

By the way, this isn't happening. Andrews isn't getting traded. But you asked for a reasonable, scorching "hot take" and I gave you one. Good question, Pat."


Mark asks -- "Do you think Jordan Spieth will ever be a top 5 player in the world again? And do you think it's smart to put something on him right now in each of the four majors this year? Can he win another one? His odds are pretty good for a 3-time major winner."

DF says -- "No. And yes. I doubt he ever gets back in the Top 5. I think he's currently in and around 15th in the Official World Golf Rankings. And that's about where he belongs based on his performance over the last couple of years.

There are just too many great players right now who aren't going to move out of the top 5 or 10, and that's even with all of the LIV Golf charlatans losing their ranking points. You have Rory, Rahm, Cantlay, J.T., Morikawa, Scheffler, Zalatoris and Schauffele to contend with, for starters. I just don't see Spieth moving past those guys.

That said, putting some money on him right now for each of the four majors is very wise. He can always win at Augusta. That's become one of his go-to courses. If he drives it straight and the USGA takes the U.S. Open to a short'ish venue (like Pebble Beach), he can win there. I think he's very capable of playing well on a links type course where his short game flourishes. The only major that he's never won is the PGA and that one remains the most difficult for him mostly because of the length of the courses they play.

But you could do a lot worse than putting $25 or $50 on him at every major right now, that's for sure."


Tim Chenowith asks -- "For your mailbag section. The NFL allows you one rule change. What would it be?"

DF says -- "This isn't a rule change, per se. It's a rule "addition". I'd add a "3-point" play to conversion attempts from the 5 yard line. This would now mean any time you were within 18 points it's still a "two score game". I'm flexible on the yard line. Maybe it's the 7 instead of the 5? Or maybe it's the 4 instead of the 5. But giving teams an option of "going for 3" is what I would add to the rules.

Oh, and I'd also throw in increasing the extra point distance from 33 to 55 yards and give the team 3 points instead of 1 if they hit from 55 yards on the extra point attempt."

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RANDY MORGAN
on American soccer


Americans are playing more and more of a vital role in international soccer these days, and Randy Morgan has his eyes on all of them for #DMD. Each week here, he looks at recent performances of American players and highlights upcoming games of importance.


european soccer recap


This week featured several enticing matchups around Europe. The Premier League took top billing with a clash of storied clubs Arsenal and Manchester United.

Meanwhile the German Bundesliga resumed play after its long winter break and in Spain Barcelona and Real Madrid returned from their Super Cup showdown to continue their battle for the league title.

It was an eventful week for the American contingent abroad as well, with a promising young defender impressing in his first two Premier League starts and several others lighting up the scoreboard.

Back home the coachless USMNT prepares for a low key training camp featuring some young prospects along with MLS veterans before a pair of exhibition games this week.


England

In the Premier League, Arsenal faced another tough test in their quest to remain top of the league. They rose to the occasion once again, getting a win against Manchester United, who tripped up their closest competitor in Manchester City last weekend.

The contest produced one of the best games of the season, with the score going back and forth and each team producing incredible goals.

Mikel Arteta and Arsenal continued their winning ways with a goal in the 90th minute to turn back Manchester United, 3-2.

In the 17th minute, Marcus Rashford continued his impressive form with an outstanding goal, beating several defenders in the middle of the field then firing a rocket from long range to beat Aaron Ramsdale. In the 24th minute Eddie Nketiah got on the end of a Granit Xhaka cross and headed in to even the score.

Early in the second half, Bukayo Saka delivered his own moment of brilliance with a long range blast to beat David De Gea and give Arsenal a 2-1 lead. However, Manchester United evened just six minutes later on a header from defender Lisandro Martinez.

Arsenal dominated the final third of the game, keeping United pinned in their own end and peppering the goal. With the game poised to end in a draw, Arsenal pulled out the victory in the 90th minute when Nketiah capped a beautiful passing sequence by deflecting a shot from Martin Odegaard past the keeper. The win kept Arsenal five points clear in first place.

Manchester City kept pace with a 3-0 win over Wolves. Erling Haaland broke out of his two game goal scoring “slump” with a hat-trick, putting him back on his historic pace with 25 goals in 20 games, 10 more than next best Harry Kane.

Further down the table, two struggling powers went head to head in Liverpool and Chelsea. The game befitted the current standing of the teams, finishing in a mundane 0-0 draw. Chelsea did witness a few bright moments from new signing, Ukrainian winger Mykhailo Mudryk, but it wasn’t enough to win the game.

It was a momentous week for 22 year old American defender Chris Richards. The Alabama native got his first Premier League start on Wednesday, filling in for the injured Joachim Andersen. Richards had several standout moments, helping Crystal Palace get an important draw against Manchester United.

He flashed his outstanding recovery speed twice, tracking down talented wingers Marcus Rashford and Antony. He finished the game 24 of 28 passing and won 7 of his 8 duels.

The effort earned him another start on Sunday against 3rd place Newcastle and Richards delivered another solid performance. He had 8 clearances, won 5 of 6 duels and completed 22 of 26 passes to help Crystal Palace get a shutout and a 0-0 draw. With Andersen expected to be out for an extended period, Richards should continue in the starting lineup for the near future.

Further down in the second division English Championship, Josh Sargent continued a strong season for Norwich City, scoring a goal and threatening several other times in a 4-2 win over Coventry City.


Germany

The Bundesliga returned to action for the first time since before the World Cup after the extended German winter break. The restart kicked off with a heavyweight matchup between Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig on Friday. Both teams looked to attack quickly in transition producing an end to end affair.

In an evenly played game, the teams came away with a 1-1 draw that left Bayern five points ahead in first place and Leipzig in 5th, six points behind.

Wins from Eintracht Frankfurt and Union Berlin and a loss from Freiburg leaves a crowded race for the Champions League spots behind Bayern. Five teams sit within two points of each other from 2nd to 6th place after the weekend’s results.

Borussia Dortmund pulled into 6th with a wild 4-3 win over Augsburg. Gio Reyna subbed on in the 70th minute for Dortmund and appeared to have put all the World Cup drama behind him.

The American attacker delivered a wonder goal for the game winner in the 78th minute. Reyna settled a bouncing ball on the edge of the box with one touch then ripped a looping shot to beat the keeper in the far corner.

Just behind Dortmund in 7th place is Wolfsburg, who managed to destroy 4th place Freiburg 6-0. Teenage American Kevin Paredes came on for the last 25 minutes and helped to extend the large lead by assisting the 5th goal with a well placed cross from the left wing that was finished off in the box. Paredes is one of the top young US prospects to watch for the next World Cup and could be a key piece on next year’s Olympic team.


Italy

In Serie A, Napoli stayed on top of the league with a 2-0 win over Salernitana, propelled by another Victor Osimhen goal, who paces the league with 13 on the season. Its a logjam behind Napoli, with AC Milan, Inter Milan, Roma, Atalanta, and Lazio all separated by just four points in 2nd through 6th.


Spain

In La Liga the status quo was maintained. Barcelona got a 1-0 win over Getafe on a goal from Pedri and Real Madrid downed Athletic Bilbao 2-0 with two goals from Karim Benzema. The results keep Barcelona three points ahead in first place. Third place Real Sociedad is distancing itself from the pack as well after their fifth straight league victory.


Team of the Week

G: Ter Stegen - Barcelona

D: Halstenberg - RB Leipzig; Doekhi - Union Berlin; Martinez - Man U; Di Lorenzo - Napoli

M: Zinchenko - Arsenal; Bellingham - Dortmund; Mitoma - Brighton

F: Lookman - Atalanta; Benzema - Real Madrid; Saka - Arsenal


Player of the Week -

Bukayo Saka - Arsenal

The 21 year old English winger was the key player for Arsenal in their big 3-2 win over Manchester United. Saka produced one goal with an amazing long range strike and nearly had another later in the game that hit the post. He was a constant threat down the right side, repeatedly beating defenders one on one and cutting inside to trouble the United defense. He has been one of the breakout stars of Arsenal’s unlikely run to the top of the league.


USMNT January Camp

With the World Cup performance solidly in the rearview mirror and the future still full of question marks with an open coaching search, the US men officially begin the next World Cup cycle this week. The “team” will convene for the annual January camp and then play exhibition games against Serbia on Wednesday and Colombia on Saturday.

This camp comes with huge caveats. First of all, it is not during a FIFA sanctioned window, which means clubs are not required to release their players, so it will not feature any of the stars from the World Cup or any players currently in-season in Europe.

It will also be run by very interim head coach Anthony Hudson, who will almost assuredly not be with the team as soon as a decision on the next (or former) coach is made.

Instead, the 24 players at this camp will consist of young prospects looking to make a name for themselves and established MLS veterans looking to get in shape before the season. This camp and two games are mostly a chance for those young players to get familiar with the senior team and get some face time with the coaches and fans as the federation looks forward to the Under 20 World Cup this summer and the Olympics next year.

It should be interesting to see how some bright young stars like Gaga Slonina and Paxten Aaronson look in the senior team setup, but there isn’t much to look forward to from these games otherwise. The same rules apply to Serbia and Colombia so they will be playing far less than their first choice lineups in the two exhibitions.

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January 23, 2023
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"all i need is the flyers to win..."


A friend of mine sent me a text just before noon yesterday.

He played a 6-way parlay for $20 that would net him just under $1,000 if the following six things occurred on Sunday.

The Maryland-Purdue "under 132" hit.

The Bengals won outright.

You sure do hate to see these guys looking like this, don't you?

The Kings-Blackhawks "under 6.5" hit.

The Boston Bruins beat San Jose by 1.5 or more goals.

The Cowboys-49'ers "under 46.5" hit.

And...the Philadelphia Flyers beat Winnipeg outright.

That's all he needed.

I read the text and shot him a quick reply. "You should be ashamed of yourself for betting the Flyers to win."

Things started off well when the Maryland-Purdue "under" hit. Then the Bengals won outright. The Chicago-Los Angeles "under" hit with a 2-1 final score. Boston shut out San Jose, 4-0. And the Cowboys-49'ers finished 19-12 so the "under" hit in that one.

Last night at 9:20 pm, he sent me another text.

"All I need is the Flyers to win and I win $987.44!"

I checked the score. It was 4-3, Winnipeg was ahead, with 9 minutes left in the game.

Because I'm evil like this, I placed a quick, live, legal wager. $10 on the Jets to win by 1.5 goals and the over 7.5 goal total to hit.

I needed Winnipeg to tack on one more goal and not have the Flyers score again.

My $10 wager would only return $26.74 (my original $10, plus $16.74).

I took a quick picture of the "bet approved" box on my computer and texted it to my friend.

"You're the worst of the worst," he wrote to me.

"You're the one who bet on the Flyers," I responded. "Anyone who bets on the Flyers to win deserves all the misfortune they can get."

And when the Jets dumped a puck into the empty Philadelphia net late in the game, Winnipeg was a winner, 5-3, and I collected $26.74 for my troubles.

"I owe you a note of thanks," I wrote to my friend. "Had you not bet on Philly, I wouldn't have ever done that."

"You're a real peach," he replied.

Moral of the story: Never, ever, bet on those creeps in Philadelphia to do anything to help you. That's why the Flyers are affectionately known as "The worst franchise in the history of sports".

And for one night, anyway, I became a fan of the Winnipeg Jets. Never has an empty net goal in a regular season game made me so happy.


As the Ravens continue to mull over how things are going to play out with Lamar Jackson, I have to imagine their attention shifts ever so briefly to the San Francisco 49'ers and two important words.

Brock. Purdy.

For anyone who think the Ravens absolutely must fork over $250 million -- or more -- for Lamar, there's Brock Purdy.

He's living proof. You can win with a guy that every other team passed on at least 7 other times last April.

Sure, Mahomes and Burrow are both playing next weekend and they were first round picks. It does help to have a quarterback with an impressive college profile. Purdy, you might know, was hardly a household name during his days at Iowa State.

But Purdy's rise this season also has to be sitting somewhere in the back of the Ravens' minds. "The 49'ers are going to the NFC Championship Game with a 7th round quarterback."

That doesn't mean the Ravens should give up on Lamar Jackson. Not at all. They remain obligated to try to sign him sometime in the next month. If they don't sign him, they'll franchise him.

But if Eric DeCosta gets backed into a corner somehow and the Ravens find Jackson to be unappreciative of the $45 million franchise tag, he can always point to what Purdy has done in San Francisco this season and say to himself, "The football world doesn't start and stop with Lamar Jackson. They are other ways we can go about this."

If the 49'ers can go to the NFC Championsihp Game with Brock Purdy at quarterback, the Ravens can also make a quarterback change this off-season and win with someone new next year.

Just like DeCosta and Harbaugh took a chance on drafting Jackson in 2018, they can take a chance on someone else this April and hope he experiences the same kind of early success that Lamar did in his first couple of seasons.

Lamar Jackson is an extraordinary athlete, no two ways about it.

He's also a very good quarterback.

But the Ravens once gambled on Lamar to replace Flacco and it worked out well. There's no reason to not employ the same sort of thinking this off-season if Jackson takes it upon himself to create tension or strife in Owings Mills.

There's always a chance they can find the next Brock Purdy.


Jon Rahm won his 2nd straight PGA Tour start yesterday, capturing the American Express Championship by one shot over Davis Thompson.

Jon Rahm won for the second straight time on the PGA Tour yesterday but is still not the world's #1 ranked golfer.

Rahm finished 27 under par for the four-day tournament.

Oh, and don't look now, no matter what the actual world rankings say, but Rahm is the best golfer in the world.

Based on his last 40 tournament scores, here's an astounding statistic: Under the normal handicap system your club uses, when you factor in the scores, the course slopes and ratings, etc., Rahm is currently a +14 handicap.

Plus 14.

In other words, if your handicap was 6, which means you're a solid player who typically shoots 80 or a bit better, Rahm would have to give you 20 strokes in a handicapped, net event.

You would get one shot per-hole and an extra shot on handicap holes #1 and #2 in order to make it a "fair match" with Rahm.

Keep in mind, your "6" handicap is accumulated on courses where, most likely, you're playing from 6800-7000 yards and the slope and course rating might be in the low 70's and mid 130's. Rahm is playing on 7200 yard courses with slopes and course ratings of 74 or higher and in the mid to upper 140's.

PGA West, where they played two of the four rounds of the American Express Championship, has a slope of 76.1 and a course rating of 150.

In other words, it's really, really hard.

A "6" handicap playing a course with a slope of 76 and a course rating of 150 would have almost no chance at all of breaking 80. Honestly, he or she would probably be hard pressed to break 85.

Rahm shot 65-68 at the Stadium Course in his last two rounds of the event he just won.

He's the best player in the world right now, having won back-to-back starts on TOUR to start the '23 portion of their tournament schedule.

Look for him to win again, at least once, between now and the end of March. And by the time the players roll into Augusta National in early April, he's going to be a prohibitive betting favorite.

Depending on which wagering source you use, he's the current favorite at 9-1. Some places have even lowered him to 8-1. You might want to grab him now before he dips down to 7-1 or lower.

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dale williams aims the
terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


scrappy terps fall by 3 at purdue


The Maryland Terrapins gave the #3 ranked Purdue Boilermakers all they could handle yesterday, but the Terps couldn’t overcome both Zach Edey and another poor (really really poor) three-point shooting day and ice-cold start.

The Terps’ 3-21 three-point effort and Edey’s 24 points combined to allow Purdue to escape the day with a 58-55 win after jumping out to a huge early lead.

Maryland had to come back from yet another deep first half hole. They trailed by as much as 16 points in a first half that saw Maryland score only 21 points. The Terps have failed to reach 60 points in 4 of their 5 Big Ten road losses and in all of those games they’ve had uninspired starts.

Once again on Sunday, Maryland's first half performance, on the road at Purdue, was not something Kevin Willard could figure out.

Wasted in the defeat was a sterling effort by Juju Reese. In what may have been his best performance as a Terp, Reese had 19 points on a very efficient 8 of 11 shooting. He was also perfect from the foul line going 3 for 3. Foul trouble still plagued the young center, but that can be expected when you give away at least 6 inches and probably 60 pounds to the mountainous Zach Edey.

The first TV timeout came fairly deep into the game at 14:19. Purdue had built an early lead of 11-5 by scoring 6 points in the paint, hitting a solo three, and making two foul shots. On the other end of the court, the Boilermakers had already blocked 2 Terrapin shots and altered several others.

The Terps, as is their custom on the road, had trouble putting the ball in the hole out of the gate.

Coach Kevin Willard called a timeout at 12:14 in an effort to quiet the crowd and cool the Boilermakers who had just run off 7 straight points and were now ahead 20-7. To make matters worse, Maryland had picked up 6 team fouls already and Reese retreated to the bench with 2 personals.

Purdue also knocked down a couple of shot clock buzzer beaters, one being a banked in three-pointer. Nothing was going right for Maryland and they were playing with less than maximum effort.

Another timeout was called by Maryland at 10:43. They were down 16 points after Jahmir Young lazily tried to track down a loose ball that, instead, was grabbed by Purdue and converted into a three. Young was benched, as he should have been.

After Ian Martinez hit a little runner on the left side, the Terps retreated into a zone defense. Purdue turned it over, but the Terps gave it right back. A three by Martinez put badly needed points on the board for Maryland, but they lacked defensive intensity and were getting pounded on the boards, 15-4.

They had played 12 minutes and 11 seconds, but had grabbed just 1 defensive rebound. The Terps were down 29-14.

Both teams went into a little scoring drought for the next few minutes with Edey resting on the bench. With 3:24 left in the half, the Terps were still down by 15, 31-16.

Young was 0-7 from the field and the Terps as a team were making just 30% from the field. The home cooking was also in full effect as Purdue was ahead 7 to 0 from the foul line.

The first half ended with Maryland forgetting to box out Edey and he dunked a put back shot. The Terps had another abysmal offensive first half, this time posting just 21 points.

They hit just 2 of 11 threes and only 32% overall. Outside of Reese, who had a nice half with 9 points going 4-5 from the field, the other 4 starters shot 3 for 20.

When your offense stinks that badly, you have to excel at the other aspects of the game. Maryland excelled at nothing. They were being out-hustled and they were getting “housed”, 35-21 after 20 minutes.

A Terp 7-0 run to start the second half cut the deficit to 7 points and gave Maryland a glimmer of hope. With 14:06 left the lead was still 7, 42-35, after a Hart traditional 3-point play.

Maryland would cut the lead to 5 after a drive and dish by Young, but another inside bucket by Edey returned the lead to 7 points with 11:32 remaining.

The Terps had possession of the ball after the under 12-minute TV timeout. They missed another three, and that was followed by an Edey dunk which gave Purdue another 9-point cushion.

Again, the Terps scored and again Edey answered. This time it was off an offensive rebound. The lead was bounced back to 7 after Martinez hit 2 foul shots, and next time down court Purdue came up empty. The chance to trim the lead to 5 ended with Scott (2-9, 5 points) missing an unguarded 6-footer.

At 7:40 Maryland finally broke that invisible 7-point barrier when a tipped ball led to a Terp steal and runout layup by Hakim Hart. The score was now 50-45 and the Terps had the ball after yet another steal. They capitalized again when Reese hit another short jumper in the lane. The score was now 50-47.

Two more Edey foul shots made it a five-point lead again, but it bounced right back to 3 when Young hit an elbow jumper. The back and forth continued as Edey dunked a lob pass from Braden Smith. Some bad calls and make-up calls ruled the next few minutes before the Terps stole another pass and converted a layup by Young. The score was 54-51 and 4:15 remained.

After 2 foul shots by Smith, Reese continued his best game ever in a Terp uniform by converting an impressive jump hook over Edey from the left baseline to return the Purdue lead to 3, 56-53.

Reese now had 19 points on 8 for 10 shooting. There was 3:45 left in what was a one possession game. At this point Maryland had 5 second half steals and second half rebounding was even, 11-11.

With under three minutes left, Maryland had several chances to tie it, but their threes wouldn’t drop. A missed Scott two then gave the ball back to Purdue. Now, only 1:23 was left in the game with the score remaining at 56-53 and the Boilermakers in possession of the ball after calling a timeout.

It was amazing that the Terps had battled back this far, considering that they were 1-8 shooting threes in the second half.

A shot clock violation after inbounding the ball gave possession back to Maryland with 1:09 left. They came up dry when Young missed a drive to the basket. He had a good look, but was slightly off balance.

Another Purdue timeout came with :49 seconds left in the contest. They had the ball at half court with 21 seconds remaining on the shot clock.

Edey got the ball inside but was swarmed and missed a short jumper. Purdue grabbed the offensive rebound, however, their second chance possession ended with a referee review of a ball knocked out of bounds.

The review showed the ball went out off of a Boilermaker and the ball went to the Terps. Only 17.4 seconds were left in the game.

Maryland desperately needed to connect on a three, but they were 3-19 on three-point tries so far. That became 3 for 20 when Don Carey airballed a right corner attempt at a triple.

The rebound was held by both teams and the possession arrow pointed towards the Terps. They had 6.8 to tie it unless Purdue elected to foul Maryland. Purdue did foul and Maryland’s Young cut the lead to 1 by knocking down both shots.

The Terps now were forced to foul and the guy with the ball was the 90% foul shooting Braden Smith. He calmly knocked down both ends of the one and one. There were 3.9 seconds left with Maryland inbounding the ball under their own basket, again down 3.

The Terps tried a little trickery by throwing a baseline pass before getting the ball inbounds. Unfortunately, the pass was intercepted by Purdue, but Young immediately stole it back and streaked downcourt on the left side, eventually pulling up for a wide open three about two steps behind the line on the left side

But as was the case with most of his threes today, this one was a brick that pounded off of the backboard. Purdue had escaped with the 3-point win.

On both of Maryland’s potential game-tying three-point attempts, the shooters (first Carey then Young) seemed to be more focused on drawing contact than hitting the shot. Neither attempt was hotly contested and it’s my strong opinion that far too much concentration was diverted to the possible foul and not enough went into hitting the shot.

Young’s attempt rocked off of the backboard and Carey’s disappointment never hit the rim either, missing far left of its target.

Those two shots were certainly microcosms of the Terp shooting woes yesterday, but they weren’t the cause of defeat. That title rests solely on the poor starts that Willard can’t avoid when playing a road game. Scoring 21 points in a half and falling behind by 16 points before you’ve even put up 10 is absolutely unacceptable.

The Terp roster may not be Final Four caliber, but they are much better than a 44-13 deficit at the half. Either the Maryland opponents slack off after destroying the Terps for a while, or this slow start issue is psychological or coaching. Willard needs to figure out and correct this issue before the next road game.

He’ll have plenty of time as the Terps take on Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Indiana at home before traveling to Minnesota on February 4th.

They might want to work on their shooting too. Recent stats have them at only 29.6% from the three-point line at home. That puts Maryland among the worst shooting teams in the entire country.

The Wisconsin game this Wednesday at 7 p.m. is the next Terp challenge.

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January 22, 2023
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the dog days begin...sort of


For the first time since mid-September, a Sunday has arrived and the Ravens aren't top of mind when it comes to football games being played.

It's a weird feeling.

These are, oddly enough, the first of two sets of "dogs days" for Baltimore sports fans.

This particular patch begins when the Ravens are eliminated from the playoffs and runs through the middle of March or so. By then, you have the college basketball tournament, the start of baseball season and the single best sporting event of the year, the Masters.

But this 8-week period, other than the NFL playoffs, can be fairly benign for sports fans in Baltimore.

Be prepared to hear a lot about Patrick Mahomes in Baltimore this week.

There's just not that much to keep you entertained until mid-March.

But that's what we're here for, right? We figure it like this: You can spend your days reading #DMD and being entertained or you can listen to the Beatles to be entertained. And since you're here, right now, reading this, I know which option you're choosing.

And I don't blame you one bit.

Rest assured we take our obligation very seriously here. We'll do our very best to keep you entertained until April rolls around.

The second patch of "dog days" might actually be avoided in Baltimore this year.

Traditionally, at least throughout most of the last 25 years in Charm City, the Orioles are usually 15 games out of first place by Memorial Day and June and July are dreary in these parts. We all wait around until Ravens training camp starts in August and then we're back to having something to be enthusiastic about, sports wise.

But last summer, June and July featured the Orioles playing good, competitive baseball. And they will not be 15 games out of first place by Memorial Day in 2023, of that I can assure you.

So, maybe this period right now, for the next two months, will be the only "dog days" we face around here. That would be good. Very good, in fact.


Here's the narrative you're going to hear and read about in Baltimore for the next couple of days. It's already started, actually, but it will carry through until mid-week or so.

I'm just warning you. Be prepared.

"Did you see Patrick Mahomes play on a crushed ankle on Saturday afteroon in Kansas City? That's what tough quarterbacks do. Lamar wouldn't play on his injured knee but Mahomes went right back out there and played in the playoff game against Jacksonville."

If you think Greg Roman got beat into the ground like a dead horse, wait until Monday and Tuesday on local Baltimore radio.

It started on social media minutes after Mahomes returned to the field after suffering what looked to be a gruesome ankle injury in the Chiefs' 27-20 win over the Jaguars yesterday.

"Now that's a tough quarterback! Wish we had one of those, we might still be playing in the playoffs instead of watching."

"But Lamar couldn't play on a swollen knee, right?"

"That's why Kansas City wins and the Ravens don't win, right there."

You read that stuff yesterday (and today, I'm sure) and you're going to hear it tomorrow, all day.

"Mahomes is tough. Lamar isn't."

Of course, the people saying those things have no idea what they're actually talking about. None. They haven't read an X-ray or an MRI of Lamar's knee. Haven't performed a stability test on his knee. They just see one player get injured and return and see another guy injured and unable to play and they put 1 and 1 together and get --- 2.

Editor's note: For Flyers fans, yes, 1 and 1 together actually is 2. No need to break out your calculator.

But the fact Mahomes played yesterday in no way means another guy -- Lamar in this case -- isn't tough. But that's what we do these days.

Lamar: "I can't play. My knee is injured."

Mahomes: "I'm injured but I'm going to get taped up and get back out there and play."

People: "Gotcha, Lamar!"

Mahomes and Lamar have nothing at all to do with one another. One suffered an ankle injury, the other suffered a knee injury. One was comfortable enough to return and play. The other guy wasn't.

Get ready for it Baltimore. It's part of the "dog days".

It's either talk about Lamar not playing on an injured knee or you listen to The White Album.

I know what you're thinking. "More Lamar talk, please."


If you're one of those Ravens fans who thinks outside the box a little, you should be rooting for the Bengals today when they play in Buffalo.

Root for Joe Burrow? As a Ravens fan? Yuck...

And then you should be rooting for Cincinnati next week, too. And in the Super Bowl....yes, Cincinnati.

I know that's kind of hard to do if you're a Ravens fans. For some weird reason, Bengals fans are rapidly moving up the "Intolerable Ladder" with their team having some modest success over the last couple of seasons.

But trust me on this. You want the Bengals to win today, next week and you want them to win the Super Bowl.

Because if all of that happens, they're going to have give Joe Burrow a gazillion-bazillion contract extension. Maybe even two-gazillion-bazillion.

And if you're the Ravens, you want the Bengals to have to pay an exorbitant amount of money for their quarterback. And you want the team, in general, to win the Super Bowl in 2023. Because when they do, that makes it far less likely they're going to win it again 2024.

Just ask the Rams.

Now, some will say, "You don't want the Bengals to win and you don't want Burrow to win. All that's going to do is give him more confidence and swagger."

That sounds like a sound, well-thought-out objection. Right up until you remember this: It's nearly impossible for Joe Burrow to have any more confidence or swagger than he has right now. I don't think there's any room left in his "confidence tank".

What you want, I think, is for Burrow to win and get paid so it perhaps puts a dent in the Bengals' ability to continue signing and re-signing quality players to put him around him.

What you don't want, I think, is for Cincinnati to lose today and have the Bengals say, "Oh, man, we're sooooo close. We're going out this off-season and adding a few more key pieces to get us where we need to be next season."

Your mileage may vary on this one, but I'm rooting for the Bengals today.

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dale williams aims the
terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


terps face stern test today at purdue


Any evaluation of the Purdue Boilermaker basketball team has to begin with their big man, Zach Edey.

The 7’4”, 295 lb. Edey is the center of Purdue’s basketball universe and everything revolves around him. Maryland will try to deal with him today at 1 p.m. when the Terps do battle with the league leading Boilermakers (18-1, 7-1) in West Lafayette, Indiana.

>Fox Sports 1 will handle the broadcasting duties from the Mackey Arena, home of the #3 ranked Boilermakers.

The junior Edey has seen his numbers grow every season and he now not only leads Purdue, but he tops the entire Big Ten, in both per-game points (21) and rebounds (13).

Maryland will have to figure out a way to contend with Purdue big man Zach Edey today in West Lafayette.

He should be a unanimous selection for Big Ten Player of the Year. With him in the lineup Purdue is a legitimate contender to make a run come March. Without their “Aircraft Carrier” (tip of the hat to Mr. Al McGuire) Purdue is just another decent team.

Edey is not only a rim protector, but I’d go as far as to call him a teammate protector. A lot of other Purdue faults are minimized by having Edey’s massive presence in the paint.

Purdue can afford to be not as quick on the perimeter as other teams because a potential scorer runs into Edey after they get by their defender on the outside. Efforts to “take it straight to” Edey usually don’t end well.

He’ll block more shots than he commits fouls, and he’s only been called for more than one foul (3 against Rutgers) in 1 of his last 8 games.

Edey will score off of feeds deep into the low post. He’s not a guy with a sophisticated array of low post dribble moves. He’s a catch and turn guy, who might put the ball on the floor for a dribble or two, but he’s not going to beat you by putting the ball on the floor from the foul line. He’s just unstoppable from close range and he gets a lot of put backs.

Obviously, there has to be four other players on the court with Edey, so we’ll look at some of Purdue’s other pieces. But I’ll first say this about Edey’s supporting cast; only 6’4” 2-guard, Fletcher Loyer, could start for this year’s Terp team.

Loyer has put up the kind of three-point shooting numbers that I expected out of Maryland’s Don Carey. He’s made 37% of his long-range attempts (43-117), and over half of his made field goals are from behind the arc. Outside of that, Loyer doesn’t offer anything special.

He’s heady and steady, but his 3-point shooting keeps some teams honest when trying to double Edey. Loyer goes for 13.1 points a game.

I do like Purdue’s point guard, Braden Smith. The six-foot freshman has nice defensive intensity and decent quickness. He’s third on the team in scoring with just under 10 points a game and has a very strong assist to turnover ratio (4.3-1.9).

His 45% three-point shooting is eye-opening, but he only takes about 3 each game. Smith has the defensive luxury of knowing he can get beat on the perimeter only to have his assignment stymied by Edey. Guarding Maryland’s Jamir Young is going to be an issue for Smith today, and when Edey is on the bench, Young figures to greatly benefit.

The rest of the Boilermaker team consists of guys I’d call adequate pieces. Forward Caleb Furst shoots 37% from 3-point land, but his 6’10” frame is susceptible to the dribble drive game that Maryland’s Donta Scott loves to play. But, again, it’s all about what you do once you get inside and see 7’4” 295 standing in your way.

Here’s how the Terps put a scare into the #3 ranked team in college basketball. First, do not let Edey get a few dribbles and turn to his right, shooting over his left shoulder. Force him to turn to the other side or double down on him not allowing any dribbles at all. I really like no dribbles at all, but turning to his strong hand needs to be avoided.

Second, Maryland gets just over 10 assists per game. That’s not enough today. They need to get inside, draw Edey, and dish the ball for a solid look. Their assist numbers need to be closer to 15 to 18 for the Terps to contend. The opportunities should be there, Maryland needs to convert.

I’d recommend that when the chances are there, the Terps should push the ball and beat Edey downcourt. The 14-2 advantage in fast break points that Maryland enjoyed against Michigan needs to be replicated today.

The last piece of non-obvious advice for the Terrapins is to stay alert on all missed shots. The balls Edey can’t grab will frequently get tipped outside by him. Don’t quit on a ball until you see him secure it. There may be a handful of loose balls to be had.

The obvious items for Maryland are to play defense with the same speed they exhibited against Michigan and hit threes. The inside game just won’t be there. Maryland needs the threes that have been elusive for the most part this season.

Edey, and his sheer mass, is impressive. The rest of the Purdue team isn’t. Without their giant center, this team struggles to be a middle of the road Big Ten team.

Because of that, and because of their recent win over Michigan and the confidence that could come with that, I’m going to say that Maryland makes a game out of this seemingly mismatched encounter.

Maryland will spread the court in an effort to get Edey away from the basket, and in doing so will be able to capitalize from the dribble drive opportunities that their quickness advantage will provide. Edey will still get his, but the rest of the Boilermaker team could find the going not so easy.

Maryland will get a big game out of Scott and be in contention late into this game. Pulling the trigger on an outright win may be a bit aggressive, but calling for Maryland to cover the 11-point spread is well within reason.

Even though I hesitate to ask a team to follow up a big win at home with an equal effort on the road, I wouldn’t be surprised with “only” a 68-64 Purdue victory.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
Saturday
January 21, 2023
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#3071


saturday mail


I've been incredibly negligent in answering your e-mails here at #DMD.

Blame it on Greg Roman.

And why wouldn't you? He got blamed for everything else over the last month.

"Honey, the Christmas lights outside aren't working."

"Friggin' Greg Roman..."

"There's a weird noise in my car engine."

"Probably Greg Roman related..."

"Every time the dog eats a potato chip, he vomits."

"The dog never had digestion problems until Greg Roman came along..."

So, the e-mails piling up in my inbox can be directly attributed to none other than Greg Roman.

OK, that's only partially true. Lamar Jackson is also to blame.

It's been Ravens, Ravens, Ravens here for the last month, it seems. And with good reason. What else are we going to talk about here? John Angelos and Dan Connolly fighting over Angelos refusing to answer questions on MLK Day?

Let's get to the mailbag and answer some questions.


Ed asks: "Drew, setting aside that he’s a member of the hockey team you detest so much, I am curious as to your thoughts regarding Ivan Provorov’s decision to not participate in the NHL’s league-wide Pride statement based on his faith."

DF says: "I think it's one thing for an athlete to play in a game that is promoted as "Pride Day or Pride Night" and, by extension, be associated with that cause or theme. It's another thing, entirely, to mandate that an athlete wear apparel or a uniform of some kind that might conflict with their religious beliefs.

As I've said here a lot over the last few years, one of our society's most significant character flaws these days is the attempt to snag everyone in a "Gotcha!" moment. Social media is the number one source of this endeavor, mostly because everything you post is a matter of public record.

And, so, with Provorov, this is not a story people will look past. They're looking for the "Gotcha!" moment. He didn't want to wear the Pride shirt. He says it went against his religious beliefs. Instead of just saying, "Thanks for the explanation", people had to make it into a big story. It's a mean-spirited attempt to belittle someone who was merely following the beliefs of his particular religion."


Max Homa made his first Presidents Cup team in 2022 and hopes to be on the American Ryder Cup team later this year.

Chas asks -- "Who is the best golfer on the PGA Tour that people don't know about?"

DF says -- "Well, people know about Max Homa, but I'd say right now he's the most underrated player on the TOUR and a guy who isn't on many people's radar heading into the 2023 portion of the TOUR schedule. He's won 4 times in his last 42 starts, I think, and he's totally not afraid of the big moment, the big shot or the big putt. I could see him winning a major this year.

I've been very bullish on Sahith Theegala over the last 12 months and I'm not changing my tune in the least on him. He's a better golfing version of Tony Finau. Like Finau, once Theegala wins, the world is his oyster.

I entered into a player performance fantasy golf contest this year where you had to pick one player who doesn't have a career win and he's your player for the entire 2023 calendar year and I took Theegala. I think he's going to have a monster year."


Ben asks -- "If the Ravens gave you the full authority to "make the call" on what to do with Lamar Jackson and his contract, what would do? Fully guarantee? Sign but not fully guarantee? Franchise tag? Franchise and trade? Something else?"

DF says -- "I think given what we've seen over the last two years with his injury situations, and not knowing what kind of impact a new offensive coordinator might have on him, I would opt to franchise Lamar for 2023 and give him a year to get himself back on track. In the meantime, we can still talk about a new contract.

Under no circumstances would I fully guarantee his contract. Or any other player's contract. Once you fully guarantee someone's salary over a multi-year period, you've lost any remaining leverage to press them into improved or better performance. And that goes for any line of work, not just the NFL.

One addendum to the franchise tag issue: I realize Lamar can wait that out, miss all of training camp, show up the week before the season opener, etc. In other words, I understand Jackson could be a jerk about the whole thing. Personally, I don't think he's that kind of guy. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think he's a bad guy like that. I'd roll the dice that Lamar would take the $45 million and be a good soldier.

If he's truly the "team player" he professes to be, he'd sign the franchise tender and show up for the camps and what not in an attempt to justify the $45 million he'd be receiving."


A.C. asks -- "What happened to the gambling guy Will? He was giving out some winners. Will he return?"

DF says -- "Probably not. I don't really feel like addressing it other than to say that in the first week he posted info here he had people chasing him down on social media and what not and it wasn't what he expected nor what I wanted.

So, I think we'll table "picks and predictions" at #DMD for a while until I figure out a way for people to not ruin it."


Rich Pavelli asks -- "A concert promoter gives you an unlimited budget to bring in five current bands for a one day music festival. Who are you bringing in?"

DF says -- "Ooooh, good one. How about we go with Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Jason Mraz and Dave Matthews Band. If we need roadies for the show, see what Ringo and Paul are doing that weekend. They should be pretty good at lugging around equipment for the real musicians."


Connor asks -- "What's your call right now, on January 15th (date of e-mail receipt)? Who will be in the Stanley Cup Finals this year?"

DF says -- "I mean, Boston has 5 regulation losses on January 21st. How do you not pick them? I like Carolina in the East as well, but I'm going with the Bruins in the East and the Vegas Golden Knights in the West. I also like the Kings out West. But if I had to put $5 of your money on it right now I'd go with Boston and Vegas in the Finals."


John Harbaugh on Baltimore's Mount Rushmore of Coaches? #DMD says yes, he is.

K.J. asks -- "Is John Harbaugh on the Baltimore Mount Rushmore of Coaches in your opinion?"

DF says -- "How can he not be? The obvious first choice is Earl Weaver. He's a first ballot, every ballot guy. Then who? You gonna go all the way back to Weeb Ewbank in 1958 and 1959? Great stuff and all, but a pretty short body of work overall (1954-1962). Recency bias might swing favor in the direction of Buck Showalter, but he didn't get to a World Series and he wasn't here all that long, either.

I guess Brian Billick would get a push. He changed the culture of the Ravens and was a Super Bowl winning coach.

I realize it's "only indoor soccer", but Kenny Cooper could be thrown into the discussion mix as well. He brought an entirely new sport to Baltimore and almost single-handedly turned the Blast into a household name within two years.

So, anyway, I don't know who the four are -- but I know two of them are Earl Weaver and John Harbaugh. You can argue about the other two all you want, but John Harbaugh is 100% on the Mount Rushmore of Baltimore Coaches."


Ron asks -- "What's the biggest misnomer about the game of golf?"

DF says -- "Hmmmm, good question. Really good question. I would say the biggest misnomer is that you have to hit the ball well to score well. That's definitely not true.

You just need to hit the ball relatively straight in order to score well. You can mishit some shots along the way and get away with it as long as the ball is still in front of you and not in the woods or in a penalty area off the fairway and beyond the rough. Keeping the ball in front of you is critical.

Your scores go up almost solely based on how offline you hit the ball. And your scores go down as you learn to hit the ball straight. Wild shots lead to higher scores. Straighter shots lead to lower scores."


Mark Van Diehl asks -- "I noticed on Twitter you've recently discovered the show "Ted Lasso" and I'm curious what you think about it? I figure as a coach it would be very appealing to you. I'd love to read your take at #DMD."

DF says -- "I had seen bits and pieces of it over the last year or so but never really sat down to watch it and take it all in. I've now seen all of the first season and about half of the second season. In a word, the show is remarkable.

I can't do justice to how many phenomenal scenes and moments there are in every show. There are coaching moments, personal moments, life lessons and more. The writing is incredible. The characters/actors are perfect fits. It's an amazing show.

I've included my favorite scene from the first season below. There is some foul language in this scene, so let's please consider this 18+ viewing material.

You have to watch the show to understand the significance of a number of the subtle moments in this four minute clip. Ted almost never gets mad or flustered, so the moment he says "Hey......better manners when I'm holding a dart!" is a real change of pace for him. And, of course, the dialogue that centers on the theme of "Be Curious, Not Judgmental" is perhaps the best scene of the entire first season.

Ted basically says to Rupert: "You underestimated me. Maybe because I'm an American. Maybe because I'm not a professional soccer coach. Maybe because I'm not rich. And maybe because I don't own my own personal set of darts that I keep with me at all times." But had Rupert been curious -- first -- and not judgmental, perhaps he would have figured out that Ted was a good darts player and shouldn't be underestimated.

The entire "Darts scene" is just another way Ted was supposed to lose because the other guy was smarter, better, etc. and, yet, Ted figured out a way to win."


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#dmd comments








larry     February 03
Duke coach is making a stink and blaming "the world" for that mix up?? If the players didn't notice after one or two possessions, well not sure what to say there. That Duke team must stink if it took 20 minutes of play to realize they had the wrong ball.

hank     February 03
Hard to decide who is the bigger curmudgeon these days, @MFC or @UTB. @UTB, we are from the same generation, and I used to b*tch and moan about a lot of the stuff that you do as well, then finally decided WTH am I doing? We are on the back 9 brother, find things that you enjoy, that make you happy, and focus on those things. Leave all the bellyaching to the young twitter dopes who think they know everything! None of them know even 20% of what us old farts know. God bless brother!

Unitastoberry     February 03
Thanks CIK. Forgot about sleeve ball Al Davis. Perhaps it's time for a MLB owner to challenge the league on franchise relocation? Maybe Fredo is working with Hyman Roth on that? Lol

Ken     February 03
Five predictions from Drew's lead article today.



1. Ravens sign Lamar to 3 year $140 million deal that's all guaranteed.

2. Canales of Seattle is the new O.C.

3. Caps make playoffs lose in first round to Carolina.

4. Tiger wins a tournament this year but not a major and then retires.

5. Terps are a 4 seed in NCAA tourney and lose in 2nd round.

Joe     February 03
The Wizards are wildly inconsistent this year, going 3-14 during one stretch along with a 4, a 5, and a 6 game winning streak. They are a better team than last year, as Kristaps Porzingis has been relatively injury free and Bradley Beal has actually started distributing the basketball. Kyle Kuzma is a legit scorer, but also a pending free agent so he could possibly be traded by next week's deadline. They did trade Rui Hachimura two weeks ago to the Lakers, who was a solid player but literally doesn't pass the ball, averaging less than an assist per game in over 20 minutes a game (which is hard to do).



I have been a fan since the Baltimore Bullet days, and miss the success of Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes ...

CIK     February 03
@David R

The fact that nobody could immediately feel the difference in the ball is puzzling. My guess is they were using the correct ball. As soon as you play with a women’s ball, you realize it’s much easier to handle and shoot.

CIK     February 03
@U2B

I am sure the NFL has the same language in the owners contracts. The problem is that Al Davis challenged that and beat the NFL in court. So there is precedent to move and not have to get “approval”.

David Rosenfeld     February 03
Wanted to comment about the first thing in the Breakfast Bytes. The Duke coach says that "this would never happen in a men's game." I've actually seen it happen, the teams realized after a minute that they were using a women's ball, and the ball was switched. She said cryptically that "you can figure out who the people are" that failed in this situation. Can you? It could have been a variety of things...like, there is an entire rack of balls for warmups, were they all women's balls and did this get put into the rack by accident? The person who brings the rack out onto the court might be a 19-year-old team manager or a random facilities person. I've never seen a game where the refs don't check the ball before the game. They didn't notice? Seems a bit odd, and something to kind of laugh about in retrospect instead of making a federal case about.

TimD in Timonium     February 03
Regular updates & news about The Wiz? Yawn. Pass.



I'm not an NBA guy, but I have been watching LeBron play lately. Averaging 30 a night and is a week away from becoming the all-time NBA scoring leader. Amazing.



Orioles. Caps. College lax. (Almost) March Madness. Plenty of good stuff to see / talk about.




MFC     February 03
Dog days, you could be a Tar Heel fan and watch the #1 ranked team (first week) fall out of the top 25 and "may" not get an NCAA bid. The NIL "sponsors" want their money back. Not to worry as Bacot rides around Chapel Hill in his Carolina Blue Audi Q8. Also, an interesting article in the NY Times about the NIL and how it's siphoning off $$$ that used to go directly into the general funds of athletic programs. And how about Alabama football where a d-back wanted $800,000 to play there and Nick said, "this may not be the right school for you".But his QB got a million, it pays to be an offensive player, especially QB.



Lady Terps got beat in IOWA last night as this kid Clark goes off for 42, she is a player. Game ended after 11, how are those 9 AM classes going today?



I'm so sick and tired of these basketball officials going to the replay for everything. Dragging the games down. I know it's important to get the call right but it's really getting out of hand.

Unitastoberry     February 03
So NFL teams can move whenever and MLB teams have to get the other owners approval. That's interesting. What's also interesting is that most MLB owners hate Angelos because he backed a union work stoppage but he's not anything about paying players top money since the Albert Belle fiasco. He's a hypocrite. They ruined baseball for me and others in my age group during the prime of my life in Baltimore. This nucleus of draft picks now will end up like the mid 90s and mid 2010s nucleus. Sold off unless there's a new owner.

Karl     February 03
Cleveland has 3 teams, Philly , Washington, but yet this town barely can sustain NFL and MLB and complain that UMD doesnt market here….bottom 5 in attendance for MLB- a wonder why any business owner would not move to Nashville- and NFL didnt want to be here….if attendance to games falter ….will their reasoning be true….at least we have the Ironbirds and Ferrous!

lou@palo alto     February 02
Ah, Steve--# 32 Browns, 19 Colts-livin the dream!!!

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Comparing players from different eras is not feasible .Jim Brown from the 1960s is considered by many to be the greatest running back of all time,; however he never faced linebackers with 4.5 speed .His cutback style against the grain like they did in those days doesn't fly in today's game

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
@U2B- I was 6 when Johnny U took his last snap on 33rd street so I never got to see him play. I would have liked to. But you and @Lou are correct, it is apples to peaches when comparing the Brady football era with the Johnny U football era. What I don't think can be argued very far is the statement, they both reigned as best of their time.

MFC     February 02
Bob S, I think "the Stallion" passed away, "bingo baby". Loved his spots on local tv in OC. He was the best. (If he passed, which I think he did, hope I'm wrong)



SUCH, I think there's a lot of "free" money around. Given the gambling and the future cannabis revenue. That's why no taxes raised in state of state speech. I think that's where the piggy bank is. I'm fine on the expenditure if it keeps the O's in town.

Such     February 02
I'm beginning to have serious doubts about this Angelos fella who has taken unilateral control of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball Club.

I'm not an English professor, so I had to look up "paradigm", which it turns out is defined as "a typical example or pattern of something; a model". I also had to re-read his quote a few times to try and deconstruct all of the PR farm byproduct contained therein.

I'm not entirely sure how a guy who has been Governor of the state for less than a month has "the vision and commitment" to revitalize Downtown Baltimore by pumping a half a billion dollars into a baseball park, but I'm fairly certain I could do a lot of good with that kind of public money too. Call me a cynic while you get off my lawn.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't get the warm and fuzzies from Angelos fils. He strikes me as entitled and condescending. At least his old man was a civic benefactor who actually spent his time in the city. This guy will be laughing all the way to the bank in Nashville with his loot.

The sooner the organization is sold, the better. I realize what that's contingent upon, and I'm not rooting for it, but it will be a better day for this team and its fans when a new ownership group is running things.

Unitastoberry     February 02
Unitas played in 5 title games. He lost 2 won 3. In SB 3 he was about 55% came off the bench(Throwing arm elbow Tendonitis) for Morrall halfway in the 3rd quarter moved the team and threw an interception in the end zone. His 40239 passing yards from 1955-1973 is equivelent to 80000-90000 today. 3 time MVP. I never liked Brady until he got old. He was a stud stat wise and championship wise. Yes he did benefit from numerous rule changes, longer seasons,better surgical techniques, year round training, and huge mega million dollar deals. Unitas has none of that. After his torn up and civil war style knee surgery he started to go south along with a torn achilles, and nagging tendonitits and no doubt arthritis. The man was beaten to a pulp. But I have to say those 7 rings Brady has along with the stats and MVPs makes him the goat. But hear this youngsters. Unitas is still the best pro QB Baltimore has ever had and his last snap on 33rd street was in 1972. Half a century ago.

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
Because he played on the Patriots, anytime they played the Ravens I wanted to see Brady getting up after each play looking through his ear hole. But at the tail of his career there and especially with TB, I came to appreciate his level of performance. It may not be in the category of Cal's consecutive game streak and or Cy Young's 511 wins but it's quite remarkable what he's done and I just don't see another QB winning 7 SBs and also breaking his records for passing yards and TD passes.

Speaking of Super Bowl? I'm sure you all heard of the ticket prices to attend this year. I really enjoy attending a couple Ravens games per year and obviously root hard for them to win but there is no way I'm ever paying that type of money for a ticket... plus airfare, hotel, food, drinks. For a football game? No chance. Well, unless I win the mega-millions. Like I said, no chance.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     February 02
Drew, it's great to see you bringing Bobby Vermillion and "Endless Golf" on at DMD!

Now all you need to do is get Bobby's old partner "The Stallion" on board for his gambling picks!

lou@palo alto     February 02
there is no comparing the modern QB position to Johnny U: can't hit the QB or receiver, OL w different rules, 12 games per yr & call your own plays, too many teams--fyi

larry     February 02
A for profit business being all about the money, say it ain't so! Why in the world would the Orioles, or the Ravens, want only to be "a good citizen"? Newsflash, they are business entities, NOT citizens!

@MFC is correct too. The city needs to revitalize inner harbor back into the crown jewel it used to be, and with Port Covington development, the whole downtown area, including Canton, Fells Point, Fed Hill, etc could generate an insane amount of economic activity. But, you have to make the city safe. At least that part of the city.

Is this mayor up for that? He wants to remember his roots and all, but part of making the city safe is doing things his political party likes to be "outraged" about. Do they have the stones to crack down on things past administrations seemingly turned a blind eye to? And face the wrath of the "outrage for profit" crowd? I sure hope so, cause Baltimore could certainly use an economic revitalization and all the jobs that comes with. What better way to help your impoverished citizens?

Delray Rick     February 02
BRADY the BABE RUTH of football

Jason M     February 02
Brady was the best I ever got to watch, and like #52, I feel privileged that we got to watch one of the all time greats do his thing. I used to hate him for being such a Raven Killer, but hell after awhile you need to give credit where credit is due, and I have probably spent the last decade of his career as an admirer. The stats on his durability are a great and not often cited insight - no missed games for injury since 2008 - Brady is Iron Man.



I think you'll see big crowds at Fan Fest this weekend. I am bullish on the future of the city, 3 James Beard nominated restaurants, Broadway productions at the Hippo, MLB at the Yard and NFL across the way. You're not getting that in Westminster, Columbia or Frederick, as safe as those places are.

MFC     February 02
We have a complex 2 blocks away called the inner harbor, which is supposed to have a major makeover. Port Covington is advancing rapidly, lets take advantage of that. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area. What we need is a safe city. Let's solve that. No squeegee "kids", lots of police presence to feel safe walking the city. People will go downtown if they feel safe.

And let's get the players to be involved in the city. A major outreach program would do miracles and not just with the Oriole Bird.

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Call me cynical but this new Camden Yard complex will be finished when the rebuilt Pimlico Race Course is completed.

Our refurbished downtown arena is going to still be an outdated facility.

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 02
Im surprised idiots online continue to fall for the Os moving nonsense. The Sun perfectly outlined why it behooves the Os not to sign a 5 yr lease causing unfavorable provisions to roll over, plus the 600 mil coming their way let alone the 3 or 4 billion sale price in 2 or 3 years or the fact that MLB has blocked SF, Oak, TB and everybody else thats tried to move without permission the last 70 years. Os are proving the old saying youll never go broke betting on the American public's gullibility.

Vince     February 01
Brady done?....

Or is his movie tanking and this is a ploy to get folks in the theater?

Stats Nerd     February 01
@Howard everything I have heard seems to indicate Exclusive. The consensus seems to be that he is worth more than simply the 2 1sts that non-exclusive carries with it. Of course they could use non-exclusive and still trade him for more than the 2 firsts but it's maybe not as clean

Howard     February 01
Which franchise tag for Lamar? I would favor the non-exclusive tag. If he signs a reasonable contract with another team the Ravens can match it. If the Ravens do not want to match it, they get number one picks in 2023 and 2024. Most importantly, if no one offers him, his 2023 salary is $32 million rather than $45 million, meaning that EDC would not have to blow up the team in order to get under the cap

David Rosenfeld     February 01
Dale as you said the home/road FT disparity is hardly new. Nor is the fact that teams play better at home. I just think some of the stretches the team has had on the road have been horrendous. By the time it's 21-4 or 17-4 or 25-11 or whatever, it's hard to even take the stats for the rest of the game seriously.

I think you hit the nail on the head about last night. Seems silly to say 18 pts and 20 rebounds is making it hard on a guy but it really was...it's a team game that requires a lot more than one guy to win.

hal     February 01
What exactly does "open their books" even mean? So many fans just parrot the media in that regard, what specific financial data do people want to see. More importantly, how much true financial data would a fan or media member even understand?

Ala the BP lunatic, people think they will easily see "that crooked family made two billion $ over the last 10 years" and then pretend "they coulda bought baseball players with that money". These are the same people who say Bisciotti "made" $3B because he paid 750K for Ravens and they could be sold for $4B now.

As for moving, if the O's don't sign a long term lease and eventually move, we need to hold Mayor Scott and Gov Moore accountable. John A claims these two as "personal friends", so how can a lease extension not already be done? I am aware Irsay flat out lied to Schaefer years ago, but Billy Don never claimed that drunken stooge was a personal friend of his, this would be way worse than what happened in 1984. Media should stop chasing Angelos and start chasing B Scott.

Such     February 01
Of more interest than "opening the books" (HaHaHa!) is whether John Angelos signs the one-year lease extension by the end of today. That will be the best indicator of his intentions about the future of the Orioles in Baltimore. His reluctance to do so has me thinking that the Nashville rumors might have some fire and not just smoke.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I can see a scenario where the Orioles go to Nashville and the Oakland A's move here. When billionaires are involved, anything is possible.

Jason M     February 01
They should have a special accounting area set up at fan fest where the P&L can be viewed and audited. They could have the fans get interactive and track how much of their cash made it to the teams bottom line. Talk about interactive and fun for the whole family!

lou@palo alto     February 01
yes, spy is better having played both many times. will be at pebble tho this sat, walking around the turn where u can see holes 8-13--by far the best walking holes for fans

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Youre right Larry. Im only right when i bet the opposite of what Dale predicts. Im not a hater im a thanker!!

CIK     February 01
Dale provides excellent coverage of Terps basketball. His coverage and analysis is thorough and thoughtful. But to say he is hitting 80% winners is preposterous. Just because you write a nice blog doesn’t mean you are “sharp” when picking games.

MFC     February 01
Agree 100% on the Spyglass take, a much better and significantly harder course.



Picking basketball scores might be the hardest of all there are so many variables. Dales does a great job with his reporting and insight how about just enjoying that. If you're placing bets based on his projections the fault lies with you, not him.



TB 12 ruined his marriage for that season?

Josh     February 01
Tom Brady “retiring…for good”. Sure, we’ll see about that

Frank D     February 01
Sooooo - now we can sign Tom Brady for one year and win us another SB??????

Unitastoberry     February 01
As for Angelo's LLC aka Oriole's books. A bird told flew in the window at the warehouse and reported that despite virtually paying nobody but Chris Davis since 1997 they have made a billion plus and paid very little in taxes. The bird was then eaten by a hungry hawk. No further details are available. Remember feed your feathered friends in the cold weather months.

Larry     February 01
Eric in Gaithersburg has never been wrong. Don't you guys all know that?

Creston     February 01
I have followed Dale Williams since he started writing here and I'd put his hoops knowledge up against any of you clowns who criticize him for his predictions.

He probably gets 80% of the games/outcomes right but you clowns only worry about the 20%. Go back to your moms basement clowns and let the basketball guy handle the basketball analysis. Great job Dale!

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Dale wrong as usual! He should do a radio show with Cowherd and Francesa. Backaftathis twitter account would commit suicide from over work. Meanwhile the lame played out Michael Jordan twitter memes from "Turgeon" have oddly disappeared. Never understood that lame flex- look at the new guy failing to dig out the mess i left him? Willard not only deserves coach of the year he also currently 18th ranked recruiting class. Brighter days finally here

Delray RICK     February 01
Read on internet bout KELCE Brothers from their mom when they grew up. HILARIOUS!!

Kevin     January 31
Another spot on prediction by #Dale.

Jk     January 31
Drew......back on the radio. He just announced on Twitter. Welcome back Drew.

hal     January 31
SOD loyalists "RC" and "Geno" must have missed the part where DMD also stated quite clearly that MSJ most certainly did NOT "run up the score" vs CHC. MFC might be being kind saying those guys need a session or two of RC 101, they might need new eyeglasses!

TimD in Timonium     January 31
@Hank, you are correct, sir. LB Roquan Smith has no agent. I thought I'd read he did have one last August, but I'm mistaken. No agent. Got the deal done.

Bobby     January 31
@CIK maybe you should have just stopped at.....



" Nobody knows because Lamar doesn’t put much out there."

Friday
January 20, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3070


now the fun begins...


As it turns out, there wasn't much to the Greg Roman saga after all.

Monday, as someone associated with the Ravens tells me, Roman went into John Harbaugh's office and said, "I don't know what you're thinking. But if you don't want me around, let's get it done sooner rather than later."

On Tuesday, Harbaugh gave Roman the courtesy of a meeting to discuss the 2022 season. Discussion ensued about the team's strengths and weaknesses on offense and how, as has been his profile throughout his coaching career, Roman's units always seem to prosper in the run game and struggle in the passing game.

And so....it comes to an end for Greg Roman and John Harbaugh.

"John does see the value in having a highly efficient running game," the team associate told me yesterday. "But he made it clear to Greg that the passing threat has to be upgraded, somehow."

And from there, the discourse was civil, polite and friendly. Harbaugh and Roman have worked together for four years. They're close friends, as all coaches are in NFL organizations. In the end, Roman knew he wasn't going to be able to survive in Baltimore. The writing was on the wall.

And with 9 other offensive coordinator positions open, including some lucrative ones in Los Angeles (Chargers) and Chicago, Roman knew his time with the Ravens was over.

"We're not the kind of organization that treats people poorly, especially valued employees who have given us everything they've had," the associate said. "We weren't going to embarrass Greg or drag his name through the mud. He did an excellent job for the Ravens."

And so Roman told Harbaugh he was moving on, hoping to catch on quickly with another NFL team.

"It saved John the tough talk that he was dreading," says the associate of the team.

And that was that. Roman wanted to be the one to announce it, and he had his representative create a press release that was distributed at 1:00 pm yesterday, some 90 minutes before the press conference in Owings Mills.

You can dissect it however you want. The Ravens fired Roman but he got to go out "his way". Or, Roman saved them the trouble by quitting first.

In the end, both parties knew the inevitable. It was time to move on.


And so the first off-season domino fell on Thursday. The Ravens can now proceed accordingly with their off-season work.

Their first order of business will be to re-open contract talks with Lamar Jackson. A team source says the quarterback met with Eric DeCosta briefly on Thursday morning just so the two could re-establish their communication platform.

"It's a different way of doing things," the source says. "Because Lamar's standard mode of communication is via text. Eric would rather talk in person. So that's one hurdle they have to work through. But any time Lamar's in the building, Eric can snag him and they can meet face-to-face."

"Lamar will be in Baltimore next season. 200 percent." - John Harbaugh

DeCosta and the Ravens are going to get moving quickly in an effort to get a long-term deal done with Jackson. The Ravens have an offensive coordinator to hire, and announcing a 5 or 6 year contract with Lamar will certainly attract some of the top candidates for the job in Baltimore.

Either way, though, the Ravens are going to have Lamar in purple in 2023. If the two parties can't agree on a new deal, the Ravens will franchise Jackson and he'll play the 2023 campaign under that designation and receive roughly $45 million for his troubles.

"Lamar will be in Baltimore next season," Harbaugh said yesterday at the press conference. "Two hundred percent."

That sounds like a coach who already knows the game plan the team is going to use if things don't pan out contract-wise.

Franchising Jackson does have its advantages. You're not locked into a mega-deal that could backfire on you if, for some unfortunate reason, Lamar's play suffers or he continues to miss extensive time due to injury. And by franchising him, the Ravens also do have the right to trade him, but someone would have to step forward in March with a wildly out-of-proportion deal for the Ravens to consider trading Jackson.

They're going to do everything they can -- and then some -- to sign Jackson in the next six weeks. The only thing the Ravens aren't going to do is give him a fully guaranteed long-term deal. But they'll do virtually everything else they can to sign Jackson.

And if they can't make a deal, they'll franchise him and put Lamar on a one-year "show us" trial for $45 million. It's good work if you can get it.


As for the offensive coordinator position, the Ravens will be an attractive option given the team's quarterback, offensive line and running game.

Sure, the wide receiver room is pretty much empty, but tight end is a position of strength and the Ravens should have ample money to spend this off-season if there's a pass catcher or two who fits their budget. If they have to franchise Lamar, that cap space dwindles, for sure, but otherwise the Ravens can either sign a free agent or trade for a big-dollar wide receiver.

So, the new offensive coordinator will be moving into a fairly accommodating situation. Good quarterback, good running game, and a defense that should give his offense the ball a lot in 2023.

But who comes along that catches the Ravens' eye?

There will be guys like Joe Lombardi (Chargers) and Byron Leftwich (Buccaneers) who immediately surface as candidates in Baltimore, but would the Ravens really want a guy who just got fired by his former club?

Maybe.

Former Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich will likely get consideration in Baltimore as well.

Or, perhaps they'll do what they did with Mike Macdonald last January and poach an up-and-comer from the college ranks.

One name from the NFL you may hear attached to the Ravens position is Cowboys' offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. If things go sideways in Dallas this weekend vs. the 49'ers and Jerry Jones cuts ties with Mike McCarthy, Moore could be available as a "free agent" as early as next Monday.

Steve Bisciotti and Jerry Jones are men with mutual respect for each other's organizations and John Harbaugh, if he doesn't feel like an internal hire is best, would potentially look to the Cowboys current offensive coordinator if, in fact, he's available.

Just remember...Kellen Moore. Enough said there.


No matter who winds up the with the Ravens job, they're coming into a decent situation. Because of the fan base's discontent for Roman, the next offensive coordinatory in Baltimore will be given a graceful honeymoon period, much the same way Kevin Willard has been treated with kid gloves in College Park despite his team producing some of the most embarrassing performances of the last 30 years in College Park.

The new guy "has to be better than Roman" people are saying all over town. I'm not sure if he will be or won't be, but here's what I do know for sure: The new guy will be different than Greg Roman.

For all of the talk and chatter and chiding about Roman's offensive mind, there are two things about him that are undeniable. His offenses are always among the league leaders in rushing statistics. And his offenses are always among the lowest, statistically, when it comes to passing data.

The next guy will seek, perhaps, to balance that out in Baltimore. More passing, less rushing. But will that work? Will the scheme fit the players and the players fit the scheme? Only time will tell.

And what about the play calling, another favorite subject of Ravens fans when it came (past tense, now) to Greg Roman's position in Baltimore.

Greg Roman called 75 or 80 offensive plays every game. A large percentage of them "worked" to some degree. Some, of course, didn't work. The ones that didn't work became the focal point of people's angst.

The new coordinator will be measured, I assume, in much the same way. The plays that work get brushed over ("they're supposed to work" most people think) and the ones that don't work get beat into the ground like a dead horse.

Folks forget, very naturally, that the defense is trying to stop the offense. They, too, have plays they call in en effort to offset what the offense is trying to do.

People also tend to forget that Greg Roman and Lamar Jackson put up a lot of points together over the last four years. It's not quite this simple, but it's close: When Lamar was healthy and playing, despite not having many wide receivers at his disposal, Greg Roman put up historic offense numbers.

Roman also stumbled and sputtered without Lamar. That much is true. This should not be read in any way as a blanket endorsement of Greg Roman's full body of work in Baltimore. It's not meant to be one.

That said, the Ravens offensive problems are much greater than the offensive coordinator and who that might be. They need better players, too.

But the new coordinator will get the chance to put his play calling skills on display starting next September. He'll get the same overbearing scrutiny, eventually, that Roman absorbed over the last two years.

Who knows, the new guy might even be able to ensure that Tyler Huntley doesn't fumble the ball on the goal line in a critical situation next December. That is, unless Lamar is playing next December.

Will the Ravens miss the impact of Greg Roman?

We'll know soon enough.

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faith in sports


I have a new favorite quarterback. Sorry Lamar...

Like most of you, I guess, I didn't know much about Brock Purdy before this season. He was, of course, the last player taken in the 2022 NFL Draft by the 49'ers. He was destined to spend his rookie season in obscurity in San Francisco.

But injuries to Jimmy G. and Trey Lance pushed Purdy into a starting role and....the 49'ers are now one of the last 8 teams standing in the NFL playoffs.

Purdy is also a devout Christian, having worked with FCA in both Arizona, where he grew up, and in college at Iowa State.

I found a great 3 minute clip of Purdy discussing his faith and thought I'd share it with you today.

Please check it out. And, like me, you can now start rooting for Purdy and the 49'ers in these NFL playoffs.

And thank you, as always, to our friends at Freestate Electrical for their continued support of "Faith in Sports" here at #DMD every Friday.


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dale williams aims the
terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


revenge night in college park


Last night in College Park, the Maryland Terrapins expertly executed the game plan that we laid out yesterday here at #DMD.

They hounded Hunter Dickinson all night, played a fast-swarming zone defense for nearly the entire 40 minutes, and outscored the Michigan Wolverines 14-2 on fast break points. The end result was a well-deserved 64-58 win at the XFINITY Center.

The big Maryland offensive star was Jahmir Young. The Terp point guard was getting to the rim and scoring. Despite missing all 5 of his three-point tries, Young was 9 of 14 inside the arc and connected on 8 of 10 foul shots to put together a 26-point performance.

Jahmir Young led Maryland with 26 points last night as the Terps picked up another big home win in the Big Ten, beating Michigan by six points.

The real star of the game was Kevin Willard’s decision to play a 2-3 zone defense that became more of a match-up zone.

This alignment forced Michigan away from the basket and was the reason why over half (28 of 55) of the Michigan shots were from behind the three-point line. Hitting just 28 % of those deep balls is what kept the Wolverines below 60 points for the game.

With the Terps driving to the hoop for points while forcing Michigan to the perimeter, the points-in-the-paint war was decidedly won by the hosts, 42-22. That zone, and the special attention given to Dickinson when he had the ball was reflected in his paltry 4 buckets inside the paint.

The Terps also reversed the Iowa game trend that saw Maryland get outscored in fast break points, 15-0. Last night the fast break scoring was a decided 14-2 Terp advantage.

Dickinson got the scoring started with an easy bucket on a one-on-one move over Juju Reese. The Terps, on their next defensive stand, dropped to a zone and immediately Dickinson traveled while looking to pass. A three by Carey on an offensive rebound gave Maryland a lead that Michigan would never overtake.

The Terp defense again double-teamed Dickinson and he dished it out for a missed three. Just what the Terps hoped to see, and would see, most of the night.

It was 7-4 at the first TV timeout and Maryland was holding their own on the boards, 6-4, while committing just 1 turnover.

Some light, full court pressure resulted in another Michigan missed shot (they were just 3-11 at the 11:44 mark) and when the Terps cashed in with their sixth bucket of the half and tenth point in the paint on a nifty Caelum Swanton-Rodger half-hook over Dickinson, the Terps had a 15-6 lead forcing Michigan to call a timeout.

The Terps remained in their zone defense that featured good pressure on the perimeter, but frequently started with full court pressure after a made Terrapin bucket.

At that point, Maryland was 10-19 from the field despite connecting on just 1 of 4 three pointers. The Terps were winning the war down low and the numbers showed an 18-6 advantage in points in the paint. There was 7:33 left in the half and Maryland held a 23-13 lead.

Swanton-Rodger was giving Maryland really solid minutes and after he blocked a shot the whole Terp bench erupted. Patrick Emilien (out with a foot injury) was the biggest cheerleader, and the noise only got louder when Donta Scott knocked down a three.

However, Michigan answered with a couple three's of their own to cut what had ballooned into a 13-point Maryland lead down to 7 with under four minutes left in the half.

Maryland finished the last 3:46 of the half without making a shot from the field. During that same time, the Wolverines were hitting 6 of 8 with a bunch of those successful tries being triples, and sliced the Terp lead at the half to just a single bucket at 34-32.

The Terp zone was forcing Michigan to the outside, exactly what it’s designed to do. But the Wolverines were answering by shooting 46% (6-13) from behind the arc.

Maryland still held a rebounding edge,20-15 (10-4 on the offensive glass) and the fastbreak points were big in the Terps’ favor, 10-0. A far cry from 15-0 Iowa advantage from a few nights ago.

Maryland scored the first 4 points of the second half and their zone pressure was causing trouble for the Michigan offense. Two quick Wolverine turnovers allowed Maryland to add two points to their lead despite the Terps missing 4 shots in a row. Jahmir Young (11 first half points) was getting the blow-bys that weren’t available against Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Two Young foul shots made the score 40-34 with under 16 minutes left in the half. Jett Howard answered those foul shots with two of his own coming after a Terp turnover. Turnovers and missed shots were becoming the rule for both teams. Six minutes had elapsed in the second half and the two teams had combined for just 10 points.

While neither team could get much going offensively in the first 8 minutes of the second half, two Michigan tip-ins after missed shot attempts brought the Wolverines even at 42-42 with 11:55 left. Maryland’s second half shooting was just 3 for 10 at this juncture and Michigan was 4-12. Neither team had hit a three, going a combined 0-7.

That long range dry spell ended when Hakim Hart drained a shot from behind the top of the key. Maryland now had a 47-44 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game. A Scott follow dunk made the lead 5 and a Hart reverse layup took it to 7 points. The small, but loud, crowd was expressing their satisfaction with what they were seeing from their home team.

Michigan responded to the mini-Terp run with 5 points by Joey Baker, but Maryland refused to yield. Young kept torching Dug McDaniel.

The Terp high scorer was getting the rim, and converting, at will. When Ian Martinez scored using the same offensive philosophy of driving hard and beating his defender off of the dribble, there was 7:04 left and Maryland was up 55-49.

Maryland continued to stay true to their zone defense. It was that zone that had forced 6 Wolverine turnovers in 13 second half minutes.

Yet another blow-by from Young was converted and the Terps were up by 10...for mere seconds. Reese lost Dickinson and the Michigan center quickly buried his third triple of the game. The score was now 59-52, with 3:25 left and Michigan owning possession under the Terp basket after a series of missed opportunities to score by Maryland. It was notable that the Terps had 2 fouls to play with, while the next Michigan foul would put the Terps on the line.

A missed three by McDaniel was gobbled up by Hart, but Young had his shot blocked on the ensuing Terp possession. Scott showed Michigan he can block shots too, tossing the next Wolverine shot to the ground. Video replay would show the ball went out of bounds off of Michigan. Terp ball, up 7, under 2 minutes to play.

Young was fouled and went to the line to shoot a 1 and 1. He was 3 for 4 from the line at that point, but made just the front end. T Williams II gave Michigan a glimmer of hope with his layup that cut the Maryland lead to 6 with 1:25 left.

Scott missed a shorty and Michigan converted on the other end with a Dickinson putback. It was now 60-56 with 34.4 seconds left when Young went back to the foul line. Even though the lead was now just 4, there was never a sense of panic on the court or throughout the arena.

This time Young converted both ends. Only 31.9 seconds stood between the Terps and a hard-fought win. It was 62-56 with Michigan inbounding the ball from in front of their bench after a timeout.

A missed, lean-in three by Howard was rebounded by Martinez, who was immediately fouled. His attempt to provide an even bigger cushion failed when he missed the front end. It didn’t matter, however, as Michigan continued to fire blanks and the Terps prevailed, 64-58.

This team we saw tonight, and the one that posted previous wins at home against Ohio State and Illinois, had little resemblance to the squad that got rolled by Iowa a few days ago and hammered by Michigan on January 1.

They played with fire and energy on defense and executed a well-designed defensive plan. It will be interesting to see what plan of attack Willard has when the Terps tackle #3 Purdue on the road this Sunday.

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#dmd comments








larry     February 03
Duke coach is making a stink and blaming "the world" for that mix up?? If the players didn't notice after one or two possessions, well not sure what to say there. That Duke team must stink if it took 20 minutes of play to realize they had the wrong ball.

hank     February 03
Hard to decide who is the bigger curmudgeon these days, @MFC or @UTB. @UTB, we are from the same generation, and I used to b*tch and moan about a lot of the stuff that you do as well, then finally decided WTH am I doing? We are on the back 9 brother, find things that you enjoy, that make you happy, and focus on those things. Leave all the bellyaching to the young twitter dopes who think they know everything! None of them know even 20% of what us old farts know. God bless brother!

Unitastoberry     February 03
Thanks CIK. Forgot about sleeve ball Al Davis. Perhaps it's time for a MLB owner to challenge the league on franchise relocation? Maybe Fredo is working with Hyman Roth on that? Lol

Ken     February 03
Five predictions from Drew's lead article today.



1. Ravens sign Lamar to 3 year $140 million deal that's all guaranteed.

2. Canales of Seattle is the new O.C.

3. Caps make playoffs lose in first round to Carolina.

4. Tiger wins a tournament this year but not a major and then retires.

5. Terps are a 4 seed in NCAA tourney and lose in 2nd round.

Joe     February 03
The Wizards are wildly inconsistent this year, going 3-14 during one stretch along with a 4, a 5, and a 6 game winning streak. They are a better team than last year, as Kristaps Porzingis has been relatively injury free and Bradley Beal has actually started distributing the basketball. Kyle Kuzma is a legit scorer, but also a pending free agent so he could possibly be traded by next week's deadline. They did trade Rui Hachimura two weeks ago to the Lakers, who was a solid player but literally doesn't pass the ball, averaging less than an assist per game in over 20 minutes a game (which is hard to do).



I have been a fan since the Baltimore Bullet days, and miss the success of Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes ...

CIK     February 03
@David R

The fact that nobody could immediately feel the difference in the ball is puzzling. My guess is they were using the correct ball. As soon as you play with a women’s ball, you realize it’s much easier to handle and shoot.

CIK     February 03
@U2B

I am sure the NFL has the same language in the owners contracts. The problem is that Al Davis challenged that and beat the NFL in court. So there is precedent to move and not have to get “approval”.

David Rosenfeld     February 03
Wanted to comment about the first thing in the Breakfast Bytes. The Duke coach says that "this would never happen in a men's game." I've actually seen it happen, the teams realized after a minute that they were using a women's ball, and the ball was switched. She said cryptically that "you can figure out who the people are" that failed in this situation. Can you? It could have been a variety of things...like, there is an entire rack of balls for warmups, were they all women's balls and did this get put into the rack by accident? The person who brings the rack out onto the court might be a 19-year-old team manager or a random facilities person. I've never seen a game where the refs don't check the ball before the game. They didn't notice? Seems a bit odd, and something to kind of laugh about in retrospect instead of making a federal case about.

TimD in Timonium     February 03
Regular updates & news about The Wiz? Yawn. Pass.



I'm not an NBA guy, but I have been watching LeBron play lately. Averaging 30 a night and is a week away from becoming the all-time NBA scoring leader. Amazing.



Orioles. Caps. College lax. (Almost) March Madness. Plenty of good stuff to see / talk about.




MFC     February 03
Dog days, you could be a Tar Heel fan and watch the #1 ranked team (first week) fall out of the top 25 and "may" not get an NCAA bid. The NIL "sponsors" want their money back. Not to worry as Bacot rides around Chapel Hill in his Carolina Blue Audi Q8. Also, an interesting article in the NY Times about the NIL and how it's siphoning off $$$ that used to go directly into the general funds of athletic programs. And how about Alabama football where a d-back wanted $800,000 to play there and Nick said, "this may not be the right school for you".But his QB got a million, it pays to be an offensive player, especially QB.



Lady Terps got beat in IOWA last night as this kid Clark goes off for 42, she is a player. Game ended after 11, how are those 9 AM classes going today?



I'm so sick and tired of these basketball officials going to the replay for everything. Dragging the games down. I know it's important to get the call right but it's really getting out of hand.

Unitastoberry     February 03
So NFL teams can move whenever and MLB teams have to get the other owners approval. That's interesting. What's also interesting is that most MLB owners hate Angelos because he backed a union work stoppage but he's not anything about paying players top money since the Albert Belle fiasco. He's a hypocrite. They ruined baseball for me and others in my age group during the prime of my life in Baltimore. This nucleus of draft picks now will end up like the mid 90s and mid 2010s nucleus. Sold off unless there's a new owner.

Karl     February 03
Cleveland has 3 teams, Philly , Washington, but yet this town barely can sustain NFL and MLB and complain that UMD doesnt market here….bottom 5 in attendance for MLB- a wonder why any business owner would not move to Nashville- and NFL didnt want to be here….if attendance to games falter ….will their reasoning be true….at least we have the Ironbirds and Ferrous!

lou@palo alto     February 02
Ah, Steve--# 32 Browns, 19 Colts-livin the dream!!!

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Comparing players from different eras is not feasible .Jim Brown from the 1960s is considered by many to be the greatest running back of all time,; however he never faced linebackers with 4.5 speed .His cutback style against the grain like they did in those days doesn't fly in today's game

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
@U2B- I was 6 when Johnny U took his last snap on 33rd street so I never got to see him play. I would have liked to. But you and @Lou are correct, it is apples to peaches when comparing the Brady football era with the Johnny U football era. What I don't think can be argued very far is the statement, they both reigned as best of their time.

MFC     February 02
Bob S, I think "the Stallion" passed away, "bingo baby". Loved his spots on local tv in OC. He was the best. (If he passed, which I think he did, hope I'm wrong)



SUCH, I think there's a lot of "free" money around. Given the gambling and the future cannabis revenue. That's why no taxes raised in state of state speech. I think that's where the piggy bank is. I'm fine on the expenditure if it keeps the O's in town.

Such     February 02
I'm beginning to have serious doubts about this Angelos fella who has taken unilateral control of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball Club.

I'm not an English professor, so I had to look up "paradigm", which it turns out is defined as "a typical example or pattern of something; a model". I also had to re-read his quote a few times to try and deconstruct all of the PR farm byproduct contained therein.

I'm not entirely sure how a guy who has been Governor of the state for less than a month has "the vision and commitment" to revitalize Downtown Baltimore by pumping a half a billion dollars into a baseball park, but I'm fairly certain I could do a lot of good with that kind of public money too. Call me a cynic while you get off my lawn.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't get the warm and fuzzies from Angelos fils. He strikes me as entitled and condescending. At least his old man was a civic benefactor who actually spent his time in the city. This guy will be laughing all the way to the bank in Nashville with his loot.

The sooner the organization is sold, the better. I realize what that's contingent upon, and I'm not rooting for it, but it will be a better day for this team and its fans when a new ownership group is running things.

Unitastoberry     February 02
Unitas played in 5 title games. He lost 2 won 3. In SB 3 he was about 55% came off the bench(Throwing arm elbow Tendonitis) for Morrall halfway in the 3rd quarter moved the team and threw an interception in the end zone. His 40239 passing yards from 1955-1973 is equivelent to 80000-90000 today. 3 time MVP. I never liked Brady until he got old. He was a stud stat wise and championship wise. Yes he did benefit from numerous rule changes, longer seasons,better surgical techniques, year round training, and huge mega million dollar deals. Unitas has none of that. After his torn up and civil war style knee surgery he started to go south along with a torn achilles, and nagging tendonitits and no doubt arthritis. The man was beaten to a pulp. But I have to say those 7 rings Brady has along with the stats and MVPs makes him the goat. But hear this youngsters. Unitas is still the best pro QB Baltimore has ever had and his last snap on 33rd street was in 1972. Half a century ago.

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
Because he played on the Patriots, anytime they played the Ravens I wanted to see Brady getting up after each play looking through his ear hole. But at the tail of his career there and especially with TB, I came to appreciate his level of performance. It may not be in the category of Cal's consecutive game streak and or Cy Young's 511 wins but it's quite remarkable what he's done and I just don't see another QB winning 7 SBs and also breaking his records for passing yards and TD passes.

Speaking of Super Bowl? I'm sure you all heard of the ticket prices to attend this year. I really enjoy attending a couple Ravens games per year and obviously root hard for them to win but there is no way I'm ever paying that type of money for a ticket... plus airfare, hotel, food, drinks. For a football game? No chance. Well, unless I win the mega-millions. Like I said, no chance.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     February 02
Drew, it's great to see you bringing Bobby Vermillion and "Endless Golf" on at DMD!

Now all you need to do is get Bobby's old partner "The Stallion" on board for his gambling picks!

lou@palo alto     February 02
there is no comparing the modern QB position to Johnny U: can't hit the QB or receiver, OL w different rules, 12 games per yr & call your own plays, too many teams--fyi

larry     February 02
A for profit business being all about the money, say it ain't so! Why in the world would the Orioles, or the Ravens, want only to be "a good citizen"? Newsflash, they are business entities, NOT citizens!

@MFC is correct too. The city needs to revitalize inner harbor back into the crown jewel it used to be, and with Port Covington development, the whole downtown area, including Canton, Fells Point, Fed Hill, etc could generate an insane amount of economic activity. But, you have to make the city safe. At least that part of the city.

Is this mayor up for that? He wants to remember his roots and all, but part of making the city safe is doing things his political party likes to be "outraged" about. Do they have the stones to crack down on things past administrations seemingly turned a blind eye to? And face the wrath of the "outrage for profit" crowd? I sure hope so, cause Baltimore could certainly use an economic revitalization and all the jobs that comes with. What better way to help your impoverished citizens?

Delray Rick     February 02
BRADY the BABE RUTH of football

Jason M     February 02
Brady was the best I ever got to watch, and like #52, I feel privileged that we got to watch one of the all time greats do his thing. I used to hate him for being such a Raven Killer, but hell after awhile you need to give credit where credit is due, and I have probably spent the last decade of his career as an admirer. The stats on his durability are a great and not often cited insight - no missed games for injury since 2008 - Brady is Iron Man.



I think you'll see big crowds at Fan Fest this weekend. I am bullish on the future of the city, 3 James Beard nominated restaurants, Broadway productions at the Hippo, MLB at the Yard and NFL across the way. You're not getting that in Westminster, Columbia or Frederick, as safe as those places are.

MFC     February 02
We have a complex 2 blocks away called the inner harbor, which is supposed to have a major makeover. Port Covington is advancing rapidly, lets take advantage of that. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area. What we need is a safe city. Let's solve that. No squeegee "kids", lots of police presence to feel safe walking the city. People will go downtown if they feel safe.

And let's get the players to be involved in the city. A major outreach program would do miracles and not just with the Oriole Bird.

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Call me cynical but this new Camden Yard complex will be finished when the rebuilt Pimlico Race Course is completed.

Our refurbished downtown arena is going to still be an outdated facility.

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 02
Im surprised idiots online continue to fall for the Os moving nonsense. The Sun perfectly outlined why it behooves the Os not to sign a 5 yr lease causing unfavorable provisions to roll over, plus the 600 mil coming their way let alone the 3 or 4 billion sale price in 2 or 3 years or the fact that MLB has blocked SF, Oak, TB and everybody else thats tried to move without permission the last 70 years. Os are proving the old saying youll never go broke betting on the American public's gullibility.

Vince     February 01
Brady done?....

Or is his movie tanking and this is a ploy to get folks in the theater?

Stats Nerd     February 01
@Howard everything I have heard seems to indicate Exclusive. The consensus seems to be that he is worth more than simply the 2 1sts that non-exclusive carries with it. Of course they could use non-exclusive and still trade him for more than the 2 firsts but it's maybe not as clean

Howard     February 01
Which franchise tag for Lamar? I would favor the non-exclusive tag. If he signs a reasonable contract with another team the Ravens can match it. If the Ravens do not want to match it, they get number one picks in 2023 and 2024. Most importantly, if no one offers him, his 2023 salary is $32 million rather than $45 million, meaning that EDC would not have to blow up the team in order to get under the cap

David Rosenfeld     February 01
Dale as you said the home/road FT disparity is hardly new. Nor is the fact that teams play better at home. I just think some of the stretches the team has had on the road have been horrendous. By the time it's 21-4 or 17-4 or 25-11 or whatever, it's hard to even take the stats for the rest of the game seriously.

I think you hit the nail on the head about last night. Seems silly to say 18 pts and 20 rebounds is making it hard on a guy but it really was...it's a team game that requires a lot more than one guy to win.

hal     February 01
What exactly does "open their books" even mean? So many fans just parrot the media in that regard, what specific financial data do people want to see. More importantly, how much true financial data would a fan or media member even understand?

Ala the BP lunatic, people think they will easily see "that crooked family made two billion $ over the last 10 years" and then pretend "they coulda bought baseball players with that money". These are the same people who say Bisciotti "made" $3B because he paid 750K for Ravens and they could be sold for $4B now.

As for moving, if the O's don't sign a long term lease and eventually move, we need to hold Mayor Scott and Gov Moore accountable. John A claims these two as "personal friends", so how can a lease extension not already be done? I am aware Irsay flat out lied to Schaefer years ago, but Billy Don never claimed that drunken stooge was a personal friend of his, this would be way worse than what happened in 1984. Media should stop chasing Angelos and start chasing B Scott.

Such     February 01
Of more interest than "opening the books" (HaHaHa!) is whether John Angelos signs the one-year lease extension by the end of today. That will be the best indicator of his intentions about the future of the Orioles in Baltimore. His reluctance to do so has me thinking that the Nashville rumors might have some fire and not just smoke.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I can see a scenario where the Orioles go to Nashville and the Oakland A's move here. When billionaires are involved, anything is possible.

Jason M     February 01
They should have a special accounting area set up at fan fest where the P&L can be viewed and audited. They could have the fans get interactive and track how much of their cash made it to the teams bottom line. Talk about interactive and fun for the whole family!

lou@palo alto     February 01
yes, spy is better having played both many times. will be at pebble tho this sat, walking around the turn where u can see holes 8-13--by far the best walking holes for fans

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Youre right Larry. Im only right when i bet the opposite of what Dale predicts. Im not a hater im a thanker!!

CIK     February 01
Dale provides excellent coverage of Terps basketball. His coverage and analysis is thorough and thoughtful. But to say he is hitting 80% winners is preposterous. Just because you write a nice blog doesn’t mean you are “sharp” when picking games.

MFC     February 01
Agree 100% on the Spyglass take, a much better and significantly harder course.



Picking basketball scores might be the hardest of all there are so many variables. Dales does a great job with his reporting and insight how about just enjoying that. If you're placing bets based on his projections the fault lies with you, not him.



TB 12 ruined his marriage for that season?

Josh     February 01
Tom Brady “retiring…for good”. Sure, we’ll see about that

Frank D     February 01
Sooooo - now we can sign Tom Brady for one year and win us another SB??????

Unitastoberry     February 01
As for Angelo's LLC aka Oriole's books. A bird told flew in the window at the warehouse and reported that despite virtually paying nobody but Chris Davis since 1997 they have made a billion plus and paid very little in taxes. The bird was then eaten by a hungry hawk. No further details are available. Remember feed your feathered friends in the cold weather months.

Larry     February 01
Eric in Gaithersburg has never been wrong. Don't you guys all know that?

Creston     February 01
I have followed Dale Williams since he started writing here and I'd put his hoops knowledge up against any of you clowns who criticize him for his predictions.

He probably gets 80% of the games/outcomes right but you clowns only worry about the 20%. Go back to your moms basement clowns and let the basketball guy handle the basketball analysis. Great job Dale!

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Dale wrong as usual! He should do a radio show with Cowherd and Francesa. Backaftathis twitter account would commit suicide from over work. Meanwhile the lame played out Michael Jordan twitter memes from "Turgeon" have oddly disappeared. Never understood that lame flex- look at the new guy failing to dig out the mess i left him? Willard not only deserves coach of the year he also currently 18th ranked recruiting class. Brighter days finally here

Delray RICK     February 01
Read on internet bout KELCE Brothers from their mom when they grew up. HILARIOUS!!

Kevin     January 31
Another spot on prediction by #Dale.

Jk     January 31
Drew......back on the radio. He just announced on Twitter. Welcome back Drew.

hal     January 31
SOD loyalists "RC" and "Geno" must have missed the part where DMD also stated quite clearly that MSJ most certainly did NOT "run up the score" vs CHC. MFC might be being kind saying those guys need a session or two of RC 101, they might need new eyeglasses!

TimD in Timonium     January 31
@Hank, you are correct, sir. LB Roquan Smith has no agent. I thought I'd read he did have one last August, but I'm mistaken. No agent. Got the deal done.

Bobby     January 31
@CIK maybe you should have just stopped at.....



" Nobody knows because Lamar doesn’t put much out there."

Thursday
January 19, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3069


thursday things


I'm trying to pace myself as far as the Ravens go.

I think we're in for an active, interesting next five or six weeks, so I don't want to pull "a Beatles" and burn out before I can produce some quality work.

Today is a big day in Owings Mills. But I've offered my opinion on this ad nauseum and I don't think there's much more to be said.

Baltimore will be on pins and needles at 2:30 pm today...waiting for the news.

I've been writing this here since early December. I'm assuming Greg Roman is no longer the Ravens offensive coordinator, a fact John Harbaugh will make known for the first time today at his season-ending press conference.

I also assume the new offensive coordinator will be promoted from within. Whether that's announced today or not remains to be seen. James Urban and Tee Martin are the two names I'm guessing are being bounced around the most in Owings Mills.

Eric DeCosta will offer a benign comment about the club's on-going negotiations with Lamar Jackson. It will likely go something like this:

"When Lamar told us back in early September he wouldn't negotiate during the season, we respected that and agreed to it with him. Now that the season is over, we'll hopefully sit down together real soon and start trying to finalize a long term deal with him. We want Lamar here and I know he wants to be here."

DeCosta won't make any comment about trades or franchise tags. He'll use the words "explore all of our options", I'm guessing, but other than that, he'll keep things in-house best he can.

For the Greg Roman haters in town, today's the day they get their pound of flesh. At least that's my prediction.

It is a little strange that nothing has leaked out yet. I will say that. I mean, if Roman had been told Monday morning to clean out his office, I'm sure he would have called the Chargers and Buccaneers (Tuesday) to inquire about their openings. Or a college or two. And someone in those organizations or programs would have leaked Roman's name as an interested candidate.

So, yes, I figured the announcement would come on Monday or Tuesday at the latest. And now it's Thursday morning and we've heard nothing. Which makes me wonder...

But I'm sticking with my original thought. He's gone. I especially don't see Harbaugh bringing him back after the cryptic Gus Edwards comments, which basically came across as a public admonishing of Roman.

Oh, and if the Ravens do hire an experienced offensive coordinator from outside of their own walls in Owings Mills, I'd suggest three things to the new hire:

1. Delete Twitter from your phone.

2. Rent, don't buy.

3. Tell your family to expect the worst.


The American Express Championship on the PGA Tour starts today, with the players actually rotating over three courses before playing the final round at PGA West (one of the the three courses in the rotation).

Because players aren't all playing the same course every day, this event is particularly hard to handicap. But we have four names for your "win bet" consideration.

All three courses have, historically, connected well with players who produce solid ball striking numbers throughout the four days.

While it can be a bit of a birdie fest at times, which opens things up quite a bit, the best ball strikers are the ones who hit it the closest -- and make more putts than anyone else.

So our four "win bet" candidates for this week are, surprisingly, among the TOUR leaders in ball striking data.

Scottie Scheffler is one of #DMD's favorites at The American Express Championships this weekend.

This seems like a great spot for Scottie Scheffler (+1000) to get his '23 campaign off to a roaring start. Scheffler hits it straight and hits it close. If he has a good putting week, he can win.

Patrick Cantlay (+1200) is a Scheffler-clone, or vice versa. Better off the tee than Scheffler, solid iron player and a guy who can get hot with the putter and blow away the field. He's not great value at +1200, but when you're trying to pick the winner, you go with the guy you think is coming out on top.

Cameron Young (+2200) is in a great position this week. Drives it on a string, sublime iron player and coming off of a huge 2022 season. I think he's going to have a big 2023 season. This is a really nice spot for a Young investment.

Will Zalatoris (+2200) is perhaps the best ball striker of anyone in the field. This is, for sure, a "horses for courses" event for Zalatoris, who is coming off of September back surgery. Not a great putter, of course, but when you hit your approach shot to 8 feet fifteen times in 72 holes, you're going to make a lot of birdies.

Those are four "win bet" investments you should consider. If you're someone who wouldn't mind a connection or three from the longshot category, Sahith Theegala (+4000), Adam Hadwin (+6600) and Alex Smalley (+12500) could potentially visit the winner's circle on Sunday.


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The Stats Nerd
And His Numbers


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The Stats Nerd


quarterbacks available on draft day '23


There seems to be growing sentiment in the DMD comments and across social media that Lamar will not be the Day 1 2023 starter for the Baltimore Ravens. A year ago that seemed highly unlikely. Today I suspect it’s a coin flip that he is back.

So if not Lamar, who? Do they roll out Huntley? Has Anthony Brown shown enough to warrant a shot? If they trade Lamar do they draft a rookie and let him take the keys to a fairly strong roster from Day 1?

I don’t know the answer but SOMEONE has to play QB. Here are some names of QBs that will likely be available or could be obtained relatively easily through a trade:

Marcus Mariota, Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Jacoby Brissett, Jared Goff (?), Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins, Daniel Jones, Zach Wilson, Mitch Trubisky, Jimmy Garoppolo, Geno Smith, Carson Wentz

Anyone in that group strike your eye?

Maybe you sign one of these guys on a one year trial and draft someone to develop behind him. But, boy, outside of MAYBE Daniel Jones there are no long term solutions in that group (assuming the Giants don’t extend him or tag him anyway). Could Brissett or Carr serve as a band aid for a year? I guess??

If you don’t go that route there is always the draft.

The seeming consensus top QBs in the 2023 draft are Bryce Young (Alabama) and CJ Stroud (Ohio State). Looking at the needs of the teams drafting 1-10, it’s hard to imagine either of these players lasting out of the top 5 or so in April’s draft.

Another player that has received a lot of buzz is Will Levis (Kentucky). Levis is much more raw but is compared favorably to Josh Allen. Obviously if he turned into Allen that would be a no brainer but that seems an unlikely expectation.

Drafting a QB in round 1 is far from a certainty, even amongst “sure fire, can’t miss prospects”. Over the last 5 years these are the QBs taken in Round 1:

2018-Mayfield, Darnold, Allen, Rosen, Lamar

2019-Murray, Daniel Jones, Dwayne Haskins

2020-Burrow, Tua, Herbert, Jordan Love

2021-Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, Mac Jones

2022-Kenny Pickett

Obviously, Allen, Burrow, Lamar, Herbert and Lawrence look like home run selections. But boy there are a mix of stinkers in there too. Nothing is guaranteed in grabbing a R1 QB. 18 R1 QBs and some real busts in that group. Sadly, one of them is no longer even with us (Haskins).

Obviously, if they were to jump up in the draft via a trade of Lamar that would be positioned to grab one of the top 3. But just drafting a highly rated QB is no guarantee of success. Is it worth taking a bite at the apple for a franchise QB? I think so. But it isn’t a guarantee.

How about a trade? Just for fun, I saw a trade being discussed by a national writer that I had wondered about. Would the Bears trade Justin Fields and the 1st overall pick to the Ravens for Lamar (there likely would be additional compensation)? How would Ravens fans feel about this trade?

Anyway, it’s going to be a weird and wild offseason I suspect. The Ravens have critical decisions to make at QB and Offensive Coordinator. Those decisions will have lasting impact on the franchise and the legacies of several people (EDC and Harbs for sure).

Whatever decision they make will anger a segment of the fanbase. Buckle up.

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dale williams aims the
terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


terps host michigan tonight


How do you game plan for a team that, less than 3 weeks ago, just curb-stomped you (44-13) in the first half of your previous meeting?

Making your planning even more difficult, don’t count on using your reserve center, Patrick Emilien, to back up Juju Reese when Reese gets into the foul trouble that plagues him nearly every game. Emilien sustained a foot injury and is likely to be unavailable for this game.

To find this answer, I was hoping to glean some vital info by rewatching both the Terp / Wolverine first half and Central Michigan’s road win over Michigan.

Hunter Dickinson and Michigan look to make it a regular season sweep of Maryland tonight in College Park.

Much can be learned when seeing the Terps struggle with the Wolverines. Keeping in mind that Maryland does not possess the same level of athlete as Central Michigan, there certainly is something to be learned from their Michigan game as well.

The main impression I got when reviewing the first half of the previous battle between the two teams set to clash tonight at 7 p.m. in the XFINITY Center in College Park is that Maryland played weak and slow. It was the same sloth-like movement I saw in the Iowa game.

The biggest offender was Reese. He was continually slow to close out on Hunter Dickinson and was slow recovering from ball screens. He played (or plays) with no defensive fire.

The former St. Frances Academy star is frequently out of position because of lack of hustle and, as a result, has to reach or gets caught moving. Hence, his foul trouble.

The lesson here, play harder. Play faster. This not only includes transition defense, but also how fast you move while defending in the half court. The Terps have been slow in the half court. Reese especially, but most of the team can share that blame.

Central Michigan handcuffed Dickinson with their 6’10” 260 lb. center and with whoever else was near the Michigan big man. On one occasion, Dickinson had the ball on the baseline and drew 4 Central Michigan defenders.

The Terps need to duplicate that kind of effort to slow down Dickinson. Letting him post 32 points, like he did in the first game, is an absolute no-no.

I also saw several instances where Dickinson was fronted and backed after a shot was attempted. Central Michigan outrebounded the Wolverines 44-32. That included grabbing a whopping 17 offensive boards.

I’ll give half of the credit for those numbers to athleticism but the other 50% goes to effort. The Terps need more effort. They don’t have the athletes.

Another strategy employed by the Chippewas was a very effective 2-3 zone defense. They played it, or a similar 2-1-2, nearly the entire game.

I think we’ll only occasionally see the Terps mimic this approach to stalling the Michigan offense. Again, Central Michigan has some guys with length and “lift”, but the concept is good for Maryland also. Force the Wolverines to score from farther out than 2 feet.

If Michigan hits a ton of threes, so be it. Just don’t give up a boatload of points in the paint to Dickinson.

Here's something that confuses me, sort of. How are the Terps a 3-point favorite tonight? Michigan was favored by 2.5 in Ann Arbor, which normally would mean the Terps would be anywhere from a 3.5 to 5.5 favorite at home.

In that sense, today’s line computes. But Michigan won that first game by 35 points. One would think that massive cover would change this line. I guess not.

Before I looked at the line for this game, I checked with the Kenpom ranking to get an estimate of what the spread might be. I was shocked to see Maryland ranked higher than Michigan. Makes no sense to me.

Michigan lost to Virginia by 3, Kentucky by 4, the Tar Heels by 4, Michigan State by 6 on the road, and to Iowa on the road in overtime.

The Wolverines have one big loss, by 25 to Arizona State, and a bad game against a Central Michigan team playing their “Super Bowl”. You’d think Michigan would be the favorite in this game.

I’d like to think that the Terps show some pride tonight and come out trying to avenge what may have been the program’s most embarrassing loss ever. I’d also like to think that being at home will give this Maryland squad the jolt it needs to play with some speed and purpose on defense. On most teams these would be given. On this one, I’m not so sure.

I’ll list what should be the Terrapin priorities tonight. First, sell out trying to limit Dickinson. Make someone else beat you. Make it very hard for him to get the ball inside. Double him if he puts it on the ground. Bracket him in the post. Put several bodies on him after a Michigan shot is launched.

Second, play defense with a purpose. Close gaps quickly and get physical. Whether it’s man or zone, (and I hope Maryland plays a ton of zone tonight) play fast.

Third, and this could be an issue with a turnover prone team, push the tempo whenever possible.

Any team can have a hot night shooting, but on most occasions this Terrapin team throws bricks from the floor. They need to get points in ways other than the half-court. They had zero fast break points against Iowa. That can’t happen tonight. Push the ball and make the Wolverines chase you.

If the Terps execute the items above then they have a shot tonight. But that is asking a lot. I know.

Michigan has, by far, the better interior game with Hunter Dickinson. They have a big guard, Jett Howard, who at 40% is a legit three-point guy. Point guard, Dug McDaniel, gave Maryland’s Jahmir Young fits in the first game and Donta Scott was outplayed by Terrance Williams.

In the Terps favor this time is that there’s no way they can suffer a demoralizing 17-0 start. That out of the gate deficit made the rest of the minutes almost irrelevant. In that game, no Terp scored in double digits and their starters shot 9 for 40. Surely that can’t happen again.

So, the 81-46 blowout won’t happen at the XFINITY Center, but is it a winnable game for the home Terrapins? Perhaps if Michigan has a horrible night from the foul line, then the Terps can stay in the game. They are only 68% as a team.

However, I have no faith in Kevin Willard to slow the Wolverines down with a zone. I doubt he’ll sell out to stop Dickinson and I question his ability to get this group to play hard-nosed defense at this point.

Maryland being the favorite is intriguing, but the point-spread underdog Michigan pulls off the upset here. (Did I really just say “upset”).

Having a go-to guy is too much of a Wolverine advantage. We’ll see a good game, but a Terrapin loss nonetheless. 72-70 sounds about right.

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Wednesday
January 18, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3068


harbs returns...but roman?


It's certainly not a surprise given that he's still owed $27 million over the next three years, but John Harbaugh is returning in 2023.

The Ravens didn't announce that, per se, on Tuesday, but they basically confirmed it when they informed the media of a season-ending press conference on Thursday featuring Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta.

Steve Bisciotti would never let Harbaugh go through that process if, in fact, he wasn't returning to coach the club next season. So it will be Harbs and DeCosta on Thursday for what should be a spirited 60 minutes of questions and answers.

Harbaugh will be there to address the pink elephant in the room; Greg Roman.

DeCosta will be there to field questions about the team's off-season plans for roster improvement. Oh, and I'm sure he'll get a Lamar Jackson question or two thrown his way as well.

As I've said here and elsewhere over the last week, the only things that really matter with the Ravens are status updates on Roman and Lamar. Everything else can wait.

The Ravens can't do anything as a franchise until those two things are settled.

The more quickly they can put a plan of attack together for Roman and Lamar, the better their off-season will be.


If the Ravens do part company with Greg Roman, the search for a new offensive coordinator gets a little complicated.

No candidate outside of the organization is uprooting his family and coming to Baltimore without knowing the status of Lamar Jackson.

James Urban or Tee Martin will take the gig, sure. They're already here. There's nothing to "promoting" them to the position other than sending payroll an e-mail to increase their salary by $300,000 annually and moving the new guy into a bigger office at 1 Winning Drive.

But if the Ravens want to turn to an experienced coordinator from outside the building, the only way that guy is taking the job is if Lamar is coming back.

So that's something to look for if Roman departs. Who gets the job? And what's his background?

If the Ravens are able to coax an experienced coordinator to set up shop in Baltimore, that means the Ravens have assured him that Lamar's going to be a Raven in 2023, either via a new contract or the franchise tag.

Jackson, of course, could put up a fuss at being franchised, but the bet here is he won't turn $45 million just to prove his point.

I don't see how Roman returns for the '23 campaign. I just don't. But Harbs has done this before, hanging on to a maligned coordinator despite public and media outcry. It wouldn't be the first time we all thought a member of the coaching staff had to go and Harbaugh kept him around.

Remember the one year when Juan Castillo, the offensive line coach, was a season-long scapegoat?

Someone has to get the blame from the media and the fan base.

It can never be "football happened" and "the other team tries hard, too", and "we just didn't execute the big plays when we need to execute them".

We have to blame someone.

It's the American way, you know.

And in sports, it's how the fan base of virtually any team justifies losing or an "off performance". Someone has to get fired.


A friend of mine who is the Treasurer of Baltimore's Anti-John-Harbaugh club reached out to me late yesterday once the news broke the Ravens are holding a Thursday press conference and both Harbaugh and Eric DeCosta will be in attendance.

"Your fraud coaching friend is staying, I guess," he wrote to me.

"I suppose so. I guess Steve hasn't gotten tired of winning yet," I shot back.

"You know how I know Harbaugh sucks?" my friend asked. "Because the mistakes they make in the game are never corrected the next week in practice. That's where they should be corrected. In practice. You practice those plays the right way until you no longer make that mistake in the games. But Harbaugh doesn't run his practices like that. So they never get any better."

I couldn't resist the obvious question: "How many Ravens practices have you seen in person?" I asked him.

"None," he said.

It's easy to pick on things that happen in games and say, "We did that wrong" or "We botched clock management on that series" and occasionally even be right about it.

But what you can't do, if you're actually trying to be a reasonable, intelligent fan, is profess to knowing anything at all about the team's practice habits if, you know, you're not there at practice with the team.

The media gets to watch 25 minutes of practice on a daily basis. That 25-minute window is hand-picked by the team and typically includes 10 minutes of stretching (thrilling stuff) before a short segment of something that almost resembles practice is allowed to be viewed.

Nothing of importance is ever done during the window where members of the media are allowed to watch.

And if you're just a fan (you can say "at the end of the bar" right now if that makes the quip better) of the team who thinks they know what goes on at practice despite actually never attending practice at all, you're wasting more time than you'd waste trying to find quality Beatles songs.

You don't have to be at practice to make observations about the team's play on the field on Sunday.

But you do have to to be at practice in order to criticize or evaulate...practice. It's just the way it works.

Scapegoat season is here and people are hoping beyond hope it's Roman who gets the blame. I'm still assuming he's leaving. Or being asked to leave, as it will be.

But I also don't think Greg Roman departing from the Ravens is the magic elixir for the Baltimore offense.

In some ways, the team is going to be challenged to find a coordinator with the acumen to create a successful running attack in the same mold as Greg Roman.

Of course, everyone wants the new coordinator to fix the passing game and let the running game take care of itself. But if the team averages 320 yards per-game passing in '23 but finishes bottom 10 in rushing and can't pick up a first down on 3rd and 2 because their running game isn't up to snuff without Roman...what have they really accomplished?

The only warning shot I'm firing is this: Sometimes it's better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

I'm not saying that to suggest Greg Roman should be retained. I'm saying that to remind everyone that one of the more undeniable human traits is our ability to forget that just because we want something "better" doesn't actually mean we're going to get it.

That fence? With the green grass all around it? Sometimes it looks like it's a deeper green color over on the other side.

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o's opening their books?


Lost in the aftermath of Sunday night's Ravens loss to the Bengals was an interesting scene on Monday at Camden Yards featuring O's CEO John Angelos.

I'm using "interesting" to describe what happened on Monday because "awful" isn't strong enough and I can't find another word at the moment.

So we'll stick with "interesting".

You may or may not have heard about this, but it quickly made national headlines.

Angelos, along with Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, was holding a press conference to announce the formation of a charitable program in Baltimore that will help college students pursue degrees and obtain paid internships.

All was well until Dan Connolly of The Athletic was given the microphone to ask a question of Angelos.

That's when things got awf -- uhhh -- interesting.

Angelos spent the next five minutes chiding Connolly for asking a question about the Angelos family's ongoing role in Orioles ownership given the litigation that's split the family over the last year.

“It's really not important at all in the grand scheme of things to people that are clear-thinking and who mean well and have a perspective, to, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, while we're talking about putting kids that don't have a shot in hell of anything because of where they were born, through college, to be talking about those kinds of things,” Angelos said. “So I'm going to object to that question today, in this forum, before the Mayor of Baltimore and all of these people."

Connolly tried to steer things back to his question, but to no avail.

“I find that to be highly inappropriate, and I think that your focus is completely out of touch and has no perspective whatsoever on what real-world people face and what the real pillar and role of an organization like the Orioles and Ravens ought to be,” Angelos added.

Angelos then remarkably used the word "transparent" in a sentence when describing his family's role in ownership and offered Connolly and other media members the opportunity of a lifetime.

“You can find any garden-variety, high-value sports team or involvement, you're always going to have some controversy, but I've been very outspoken; I'm very transparent,” Angelos said. “In fact, I would invite you and all your colleagues — next week, not on Martin Luther King Day — you can come back in this building, you can meet me in this office. I'll take you down to the third floor, and I'll show you the financials of the Orioles. I'll show you the governance of the Orioles. I'll show you everything you want to know, and I'll answer all your questions. But today, on MLK Day, I'm not answering any of those questions.”

If John Angelos follows through and allows Connolly and other media members that opportunity next week, that's an incredibly noble gesture of follow through on his part.

Judgment will be withheld until then.

That said, using Martin Luther King's birthday to poke at Connolly on Monday -- as if the media member was the "bad guy" in their encounter -- was bad form from the O's CEO. It was almost as if Angelos hand-picked the date for his press conference just to have a ready-made reply for anyone asking about his family and the baseball team and ownership strife, in general.

Not trying to be overly critical just a few weeks past the holiday season, I'll just say this: Angelos and his family are almost never "transparent" or available when it comes to their baseball franchise.

As Connolly noted in his rebuttal to Angelos' line of questioning, this was the first chance he had in a year to ask something of Angelos in person.

And for that, he got hit harder than an Adley Rutschman line drive. I assume Connolly objected to being talked-down-to like that in front of his peers. It wasn't cool.

Next week is a big week for John Angelos and the Orioles. Let's see if anything interesting happens, as promised.

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The Stats Nerd
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Contributed by #DMD's data and numbers analyst
The Stats Nerd


"this is how they are built"


Cris Collinsworth made a comment on the national broadcast against the Steelers in Week 17 that articulated something I have been thinking about recently (yes I too am surprised that I typed Collinsworth and articulated in the same sentence). But I digress.

What he said was something to the effect that the Ravens and their front office had constructed this roster given the talent they have at QB in the form of Lamar Jackson. The roster has been constructed to accentuate his skill sets and give the team the best chance to win games and, hopefully, go deep in the playoffs.

We all know what that means on the field: a stout offensive line, strong running back room and a lot of money and draft capital spent on the defense. They’ve also spent draft capital and roster spots loading up on Tight Ends and even utilize a traditional fullback more than any team in the league. Very few teams in the league even carry a fullback much less utilize his service for a large share of offensive snaps.

And the construction isn’t limited to the players on the field. Like him or not, Greg Roman is here (as of Wednesday morning) because of Lamar. If the Ravens had Justin Herbert under center, I’m guessing Roman would not be the OC. But they have Lamar so the perceived best fit to match Lamar’s skill set is Roman. Or at least it was.

But back to the players on the field and the roster construction. By choosing to build their roster in the way they have, the Ravens have obviously had to make some choices. Resources are finite in the NFL at least as it relates to the salary cap. A dollar spent on defense is one less dollar available to be spent on offense. And vice versa.

So the Ravens clearly decided to allocate resources on both lines and in the secondary. They are fortunate that their franchise QB is still on his rookie deal (technically in his 5th year option afforded teams for 1st round picks).

Jackson’s cap hit is a relatively affordable $23MM this season which ranks him 7th in the league behind the likes of Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and Kirk Cousins amongst others.

Allocating resources to those positions that they prioritize leaves less money to allocate to the elephant in the room: wide receiver.(Note: I have heard whispers that the Ravens really liked Chris Olave in last year’s draft. He was taken 2 selections before the Ravens by New Orleans. Who knows if they would have grabbed him or another top tier receiver had they been available?)

But the refrain around Charm City is that the Ravens are cheap or that they don’t know how to draft receivers or any of a dozen other things as it relates to receivers. I don’t agree with those assessments. I think they just decided that this was the best way to construct their roster and maximize their odds of winning.

Now, I think it’s fair to say “No, that was not the best way to construct the roster and win games…they can’t throw the ball” “They should have traded for AJ Brown and signed him like the Eagles did!”

But that is a different argument. That argument is the Ravens mindset is antiquated or not the best way to win in the modern NFL. They believe it is given that Lamar was running the offense. Others believe it was not. They are arguing different things in my opinion.

Back to AJ Brown. The Eagles gave up the 18th selection, a 4th rounder AND (an important “and”) immediately signed Brown to a 4 year $100 million contract.

So let’s say the Ravens had done that and traded their 25th pick (Linderbaum) and a 4th (just say Isiah Likely for our purposes) and got Brown back. Would Ravens fans make that trade? I think most would say yes, sign us up.

But in addition, they would have had a $25MM receiver on the books for the next 4 years. For a team almost always right up against the salary cap that would have required further roster moves.

Maybe you extend a veteran like Humphrey or Andrews and kick some of their $$ out in future years. Or maybe one of those high priced veterans is sent packing to clear out his salary to get under the cap.

But some choices would have to be made to make it work in compliance with the salary cap.

And if one of those options was laid out in front of me, a Ravens fan, I think I would probably buy into that for the chance to get a young, game changing receiver. Sign me up!

We could go through the same mental exercise for the trade that the Dolphins made for Tyreek Hill or the Raiders trade for Davante Adams and any number of lesser receivers that were traded before last season.

It’s also fair to say that if they signed or traded for one of these mega star receivers, the odds of the Roquan Smith trade and ultimate signing are lower. Doesn’t mean it couldn’t have happened but the likelihood of it happening are lower unquestionably.

The point isn’t that these receivers aren’t worth it. The point is that there are ripple effects of any decision that the Ravens front office makes. The decisions they made were made consistent with their belief in how to maximize the talent of their star QB.

Again, it’s fair to argue that their approach is old school or not sustainable in the modern game. And I think there are reasons that is true. Drew articulated some of them in Tuesday’s column. Points are important.

The game has too many talented receivers and QBs to expect to slog out 4 games 16-10. Those days are likely over. Could you win one game 16-10? Sure. Could they win 4 straight games 16-10 over Burrow, Mahomes, Allen and whoever comes out of the NFC? Unlikely.

But that is different than saying the Ravens didn’t execute THEIR vision properly. I think the Ravens built a team consistent with their vision of how to maximize odds of winning. That vision is likely to go through some considerable review this offseason. If there is uncertainty surrounding the QB position, that creates uncertainty about the offensive vision for the team which clouds the decision for who best to serve as Offensive Coordinator.

A lot to consider for a team that just played a playoff game several days ago.


Tomorrow here at #DMD, The Stats Nerd looks at quarterbacks who will be available in this April’s draft in the event the Ravens are in the market for a new signal caller heading into the 2023 season.

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Tuesday
January 17, 2023
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#3067


let the unpacking begin


I can't devote myself to another "Lamar day" here, I'm sorry.

Yes, he posted an interesting social media message yesterday, one that seemed to indicate he was pressuring the Ravens to not "lose something special".

What's your caption to this photo? Comments section, please. And keep it clean!

Sure, some players openly campaigned for the Ravens to sign the star quarterback this off-season when they were asked about Lamar's future at yesterday's "clean out" day at Owings Mills.

And there was on-going discourse in the community about Lamar's absence from the sidelines on Sunday night in Cincinnati. And we all know what happens there.

If you're a Jackson backer, "it's not a big deal."

If you're a Jackson critic, "that's the last straw."

So there's your Lamar update for Tuesday. We're moving on to other stuff. For a day, at the very least.


Greg Roman is still employed which, without question, is the biggest hot-button topic of the Ravens' off-season.

The bet here is if Roman's going to be relieved of his duties it happens today or, at the very latest, tomorrow. The longer he stays employed, the less likely it is he's getting dismissed.

However, if the Ravens are going to promote from within and give the O.C. gig to either James Urban or Tee Martin, Harbaugh doesn't have to pull the triger on Roman right away. Urban and Martin won't need an indoctrination period.

But if Harbaugh's going outside of the organization to find the team's new offensive mind, he won't want to waste any time creating the opening.

I've said for the better part of a month now that Roman would need a miracle to keep his job for 2023. And, since no miracle came about, the guess here is he's gone sometime in the next day or two.

That said, it surely wouldn't surprise me in the least if Roman returns for another season. Harbaugh is loyal, that's for sure.


Despite a significant portion of the fan base overreacting to the loss and the playoff ouster, the Ravens are poised to enter the 2023 campaign in good position.

They should have a top-5 defense next season.

Marcus Peters is likely gone and the club will have decisions to make on free agents Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul, but even with those departures the Ravens will add quality through the draft and perhaps a free agent of their own on the defensive side of the ball.

Houston was a good contributor when he was healthy. It wouldn't be awful to re-sign him, but if the deal's not right, the Ravens can give him a handshake and bid him farewell. Pierre-Paul was OK, but that's about it. Time to get younger in that position.

They might have to convince Calais Campbell not to retire. Yes, he's not getting any younger, either, but his game is still reliable and he provides veteran leadership at the same time.

And they need to sign defensive tackle Broderick Washington to a new deal, one that he earned with a quietly outstanding season helping the Ravens stop the run.

All things being equal and with the right move here and there, the Ravens defense will be very good next season.

They will return a quality offensive line, with the possibility of losing Ben Powers, but nothing more.

Dobbins and Edwards are one of the league's better duos in the backfield.

And their tight ends are excellent.

There is that issue at quarterback, but, you know, "Lamar-free-zone" today and all.

Overall next season, the Ravens are in a good spot moving forward once they figure out what they're going to do at quarterback and how they're going to replace Peters and Houston.

Oh, and they have the best kicker in the history of the sport. That's always important.


The margin between winning and losing in the NFL is razor-thin, as the Ravens displayed in high-definition in the second half on Sunday night.

The Huntley fumble.

Roquan Smith's whiff on a sack of Joe Burrow.

Geno Stone's roughing the kicker penalty that gave Cincinnati a new set of downs and allowed them to chew up more time on the clock.

The lousy clock management in the final 90 seconds that cost the Ravens two or three additional plays.

The final hail mary throw inexplicably getting misplayed by the Bengals and falling directly into the path of James Proche in the end zone...except he couldn't haul it in.

If any of those things swing in Baltimore's favor, the outcome might have been different.

The same, of course, can be said for late season losses to Pittsburgh and the Bengals. "Shoulda, coulda, woulda" and all that jazz. But it's true. The games might be decided by three, four or seven points, but those points are determined by the narrowest of margins. One play here, one play there, and a 10-7 record becomes 12-5 or 13-4, even.

Every losing team in the playoffs goes through the same post-game dissection as the Ravens are doing in the wake of the loss to the Bengals.

There's always a play, always a moment, always an opportunity created or missed. If you're on the good end of those things, you win. If you're on the bad end of those things, you lose.

Ask the Vikings. Or the Chargers.

When it came down to it, as much as people around town and in the media didn't want to admit it, the Ravens were never going far in the playoffs with the structure they had in December. Sure, their defense was rock-solid, but looking at the scores of the post-season games tells anyone who is paying attention that scoring points is still paramount in the NFL.

You're just not going to win a lot of 13-10 games any longer. There are just too many rules favoring the offense, too many flag-happy officials and too many teams with talented quarterbacks and wide receivers at their disposal.

As this Ravens team was structured, they weren't going to be a team that could generate 24-28 points per-game, which, at least in these playoffs, looks like the bare minimum you'd need to score to have a puncher's chance of winning.

If you really expected the Ravens to win critical games with that group of wide receivers and two back-up quarterbacks trying to make up for the absence of Lamar Jackson, you're more of an optimist than Ted Lasso.

They would have needed an almost bizarre set of circumstances to occur to beat the Bengals and then a 1980's USA hockey miracle to win in Kansas City. They just didn't the offensive horses to compete for 60 minutes against high-quality teams.


The unpacking from Sunday night's loss begins and ends with Greg Roman. It really is that simple.

If he returns, Harbaugh looks almost like he's trolling the fan base, particularly after some of his late season comments about playing time, play calls and offensive identities.

But once that's settled, the obvious next big issue is...you know...that guy we're staying away from today.

With or without Greg Roman, the Ravens have to figure out what they're going to do at that position in 2023.

We'll dive deeper into it later this week.

The Greg Roman decision starts things off.

Like I wrote above, my guess is Roman's gone today or tomorrow. But until that happens, it's still his offense and, for the most part, his offensive personnel, too.

It would be interesting indeed to see what direction the Baltimore offense would go without Roman at the helm. But you can bring in any offensive coordinator in the league and they're not winning games in January with a back-up quarterback and no wide receivers.

The Ravens need better players, better coaching and better execution in the games.

That's how they win in 2023.

But none of that starts getting mapped out until Harbaugh decides what to do with Greg Roman.

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Americans are playing more and more of a vital role in international soccer these days, and Randy Morgan has his eyes on all of them for #DMD. Each week here, he looks at recent performances of American players and highlights upcoming games of importance.


european soccer recap


This weekend was packed with big time matchups as the European season gets back into full swing after the World Cup. In the English Premier League, the top two contenders took on their biggest crosstown rivals as they tried to keep pace for the league lead.

Meanwhile on the continent, there was a head to head clash of the top two teams in Italy and the first edition of the season of Spain’s Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

There weren’t many American highlights from the weekend, but a few players helped their clubs to big wins. On the negative side, there was some disappointing injury news for Christian Pulisic.


England

It was a sensational week for Premier League leaders Arsenal. On Sunday the Gunners got a comprehensive 2-0 win over their biggest rivals Tottenham thanks to outstanding performances from attackers Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka as well as keeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Odegaard in particular has been on fire since the post World Cup restart and could push his fellow countryman Erling Haaland for the Player of the Year award if he continues to play this well.

The win over Tottenham extended the Arsenal lead to eight points over second place Manchester City, thanks in part to Manchester United downing their crosstown rivals on Saturday.

In the Manchester Derby it was United who was the better side, coming away with a well deserved 2-1 win over a suddenly struggling City. Pep Guardiola’s City team found great difficulty creating chances against a well organized United defense. Manchester United played the counter game to perfection, scoring twice off transition moments.

Jack Grealish opened the scoring in the 60th minute with a flying header off a deft chipped cross from Kevin De Bruyne. United evened on a controversial goal shortly after when Casemiro played a ball over the top to a clearly offside Marcus Rashford.

Rashford chased the ball down, but never touched it and Bruno Fernandes ran on and blasted it past Ederson. It was a baffling decision to allow the goal since Rashford so clearly affected the play, but it was not overturned. Rashford then added a goal of his own late in the second half to put the game away.

The win moved Manchester United into third place, where they sit tied with Newcastle United, who won 1-0 over Fulham on Sunday on a late Alexander Isak goal. Despite the loss Fulham, with Americans Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream, had a solid week, beating Chelsea 2-1 on Thursday to move up to a stunning 6th place standing.

There was unfortunate news from Chelsea coach Graham Potter before that game, who stated that Christian Pulisic was expected to miss several months with his latest injury.


Italy

Serie A was headlined by a clash at the top of the table with first place Napoli hosting Juventus on Friday. After a close first half that ended with Napoli up 2-1, the leaders exploded in the second half, tacking on three more goals for a 5-1 blowout to reassert their dominance of the league and extend their lead at the top to nine points.

Kvaradona and Victor Osimhen lead the way for Napoli. The former with two assists and a goal and the latter with two goals and an assist. The loss dropped Juventus to third place.

AC Milan moved into second place with a 2-2 draw against Lecce with Sergino Dest coming on at halftime to help overturn a 2-0 deficit to get the point. Inter Milan beat Hellas Verona 1-0 to move up into a tie for third place with Juventus.


Spain –

This weekend brought the first Clasico of the season from Spain, featuring rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup. Though the Super Cup is a relatively meaningless cash grab staged in Saudi Arabia, both teams sent out their first choice starters and competed to win.

Barcelona delivered a dominant performance in a 3-1 win, spearheaded by teenage phenom Gavi, who had the game of his young career with a goal and two assists.


France –

Ligue 1 had two rounds of games this week as the league tries to catch up after the World Cup break. Leaders Paris St. Germain won their midweek game over Angers 2-0 behind a great effort from Leo Messi in his first action since winning the World Cup.

However, they shockingly dropped their weekend game 1-0 to Rennes, allowing second place Lens to close the gap to just three points.

Elsewhere, Tim Weah delivered a solid performance as an aggressive attacking left back for Lille in a 5-1 win over fellow American Erik Palmer-Brown and Troyes.


Team of the Week –

G: Ramsdale - Arsenal

D: Rrahmani - Napoli; Araujo - Barcelona; White - Arsenal

M: Pedri - Barcelona; Odegaard - Arsenal; Fernandes - Man United; March - Brighton

F: Kvaratskhelia - Napoli; Osimhen - Napoli; Gavi - Barcelona


Player of the Week –

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia - Napoli

After a couple of quiet games in the post-World Cup restart, Kvardona reminded everyone why he was one of the breakout stars of the first half of the European season.

After a tough loss to Inter Milan, Napoli needed to bounce back against second place Juventus and Kvaratskhelia delivered in a big way. Thrashing the Juventus defense all game and playing a hand in three of the five goals in the blowout victory.

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#dmd comments








larry     February 03
Duke coach is making a stink and blaming "the world" for that mix up?? If the players didn't notice after one or two possessions, well not sure what to say there. That Duke team must stink if it took 20 minutes of play to realize they had the wrong ball.

hank     February 03
Hard to decide who is the bigger curmudgeon these days, @MFC or @UTB. @UTB, we are from the same generation, and I used to b*tch and moan about a lot of the stuff that you do as well, then finally decided WTH am I doing? We are on the back 9 brother, find things that you enjoy, that make you happy, and focus on those things. Leave all the bellyaching to the young twitter dopes who think they know everything! None of them know even 20% of what us old farts know. God bless brother!

Unitastoberry     February 03
Thanks CIK. Forgot about sleeve ball Al Davis. Perhaps it's time for a MLB owner to challenge the league on franchise relocation? Maybe Fredo is working with Hyman Roth on that? Lol

Ken     February 03
Five predictions from Drew's lead article today.



1. Ravens sign Lamar to 3 year $140 million deal that's all guaranteed.

2. Canales of Seattle is the new O.C.

3. Caps make playoffs lose in first round to Carolina.

4. Tiger wins a tournament this year but not a major and then retires.

5. Terps are a 4 seed in NCAA tourney and lose in 2nd round.

Joe     February 03
The Wizards are wildly inconsistent this year, going 3-14 during one stretch along with a 4, a 5, and a 6 game winning streak. They are a better team than last year, as Kristaps Porzingis has been relatively injury free and Bradley Beal has actually started distributing the basketball. Kyle Kuzma is a legit scorer, but also a pending free agent so he could possibly be traded by next week's deadline. They did trade Rui Hachimura two weeks ago to the Lakers, who was a solid player but literally doesn't pass the ball, averaging less than an assist per game in over 20 minutes a game (which is hard to do).



I have been a fan since the Baltimore Bullet days, and miss the success of Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes ...

CIK     February 03
@David R

The fact that nobody could immediately feel the difference in the ball is puzzling. My guess is they were using the correct ball. As soon as you play with a women’s ball, you realize it’s much easier to handle and shoot.

CIK     February 03
@U2B

I am sure the NFL has the same language in the owners contracts. The problem is that Al Davis challenged that and beat the NFL in court. So there is precedent to move and not have to get “approval”.

David Rosenfeld     February 03
Wanted to comment about the first thing in the Breakfast Bytes. The Duke coach says that "this would never happen in a men's game." I've actually seen it happen, the teams realized after a minute that they were using a women's ball, and the ball was switched. She said cryptically that "you can figure out who the people are" that failed in this situation. Can you? It could have been a variety of things...like, there is an entire rack of balls for warmups, were they all women's balls and did this get put into the rack by accident? The person who brings the rack out onto the court might be a 19-year-old team manager or a random facilities person. I've never seen a game where the refs don't check the ball before the game. They didn't notice? Seems a bit odd, and something to kind of laugh about in retrospect instead of making a federal case about.

TimD in Timonium     February 03
Regular updates & news about The Wiz? Yawn. Pass.



I'm not an NBA guy, but I have been watching LeBron play lately. Averaging 30 a night and is a week away from becoming the all-time NBA scoring leader. Amazing.



Orioles. Caps. College lax. (Almost) March Madness. Plenty of good stuff to see / talk about.




MFC     February 03
Dog days, you could be a Tar Heel fan and watch the #1 ranked team (first week) fall out of the top 25 and "may" not get an NCAA bid. The NIL "sponsors" want their money back. Not to worry as Bacot rides around Chapel Hill in his Carolina Blue Audi Q8. Also, an interesting article in the NY Times about the NIL and how it's siphoning off $$$ that used to go directly into the general funds of athletic programs. And how about Alabama football where a d-back wanted $800,000 to play there and Nick said, "this may not be the right school for you".But his QB got a million, it pays to be an offensive player, especially QB.



Lady Terps got beat in IOWA last night as this kid Clark goes off for 42, she is a player. Game ended after 11, how are those 9 AM classes going today?



I'm so sick and tired of these basketball officials going to the replay for everything. Dragging the games down. I know it's important to get the call right but it's really getting out of hand.

Unitastoberry     February 03
So NFL teams can move whenever and MLB teams have to get the other owners approval. That's interesting. What's also interesting is that most MLB owners hate Angelos because he backed a union work stoppage but he's not anything about paying players top money since the Albert Belle fiasco. He's a hypocrite. They ruined baseball for me and others in my age group during the prime of my life in Baltimore. This nucleus of draft picks now will end up like the mid 90s and mid 2010s nucleus. Sold off unless there's a new owner.

Karl     February 03
Cleveland has 3 teams, Philly , Washington, but yet this town barely can sustain NFL and MLB and complain that UMD doesnt market here….bottom 5 in attendance for MLB- a wonder why any business owner would not move to Nashville- and NFL didnt want to be here….if attendance to games falter ….will their reasoning be true….at least we have the Ironbirds and Ferrous!

lou@palo alto     February 02
Ah, Steve--# 32 Browns, 19 Colts-livin the dream!!!

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Comparing players from different eras is not feasible .Jim Brown from the 1960s is considered by many to be the greatest running back of all time,; however he never faced linebackers with 4.5 speed .His cutback style against the grain like they did in those days doesn't fly in today's game

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
@U2B- I was 6 when Johnny U took his last snap on 33rd street so I never got to see him play. I would have liked to. But you and @Lou are correct, it is apples to peaches when comparing the Brady football era with the Johnny U football era. What I don't think can be argued very far is the statement, they both reigned as best of their time.

MFC     February 02
Bob S, I think "the Stallion" passed away, "bingo baby". Loved his spots on local tv in OC. He was the best. (If he passed, which I think he did, hope I'm wrong)



SUCH, I think there's a lot of "free" money around. Given the gambling and the future cannabis revenue. That's why no taxes raised in state of state speech. I think that's where the piggy bank is. I'm fine on the expenditure if it keeps the O's in town.

Such     February 02
I'm beginning to have serious doubts about this Angelos fella who has taken unilateral control of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball Club.

I'm not an English professor, so I had to look up "paradigm", which it turns out is defined as "a typical example or pattern of something; a model". I also had to re-read his quote a few times to try and deconstruct all of the PR farm byproduct contained therein.

I'm not entirely sure how a guy who has been Governor of the state for less than a month has "the vision and commitment" to revitalize Downtown Baltimore by pumping a half a billion dollars into a baseball park, but I'm fairly certain I could do a lot of good with that kind of public money too. Call me a cynic while you get off my lawn.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't get the warm and fuzzies from Angelos fils. He strikes me as entitled and condescending. At least his old man was a civic benefactor who actually spent his time in the city. This guy will be laughing all the way to the bank in Nashville with his loot.

The sooner the organization is sold, the better. I realize what that's contingent upon, and I'm not rooting for it, but it will be a better day for this team and its fans when a new ownership group is running things.

Unitastoberry     February 02
Unitas played in 5 title games. He lost 2 won 3. In SB 3 he was about 55% came off the bench(Throwing arm elbow Tendonitis) for Morrall halfway in the 3rd quarter moved the team and threw an interception in the end zone. His 40239 passing yards from 1955-1973 is equivelent to 80000-90000 today. 3 time MVP. I never liked Brady until he got old. He was a stud stat wise and championship wise. Yes he did benefit from numerous rule changes, longer seasons,better surgical techniques, year round training, and huge mega million dollar deals. Unitas has none of that. After his torn up and civil war style knee surgery he started to go south along with a torn achilles, and nagging tendonitits and no doubt arthritis. The man was beaten to a pulp. But I have to say those 7 rings Brady has along with the stats and MVPs makes him the goat. But hear this youngsters. Unitas is still the best pro QB Baltimore has ever had and his last snap on 33rd street was in 1972. Half a century ago.

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
Because he played on the Patriots, anytime they played the Ravens I wanted to see Brady getting up after each play looking through his ear hole. But at the tail of his career there and especially with TB, I came to appreciate his level of performance. It may not be in the category of Cal's consecutive game streak and or Cy Young's 511 wins but it's quite remarkable what he's done and I just don't see another QB winning 7 SBs and also breaking his records for passing yards and TD passes.

Speaking of Super Bowl? I'm sure you all heard of the ticket prices to attend this year. I really enjoy attending a couple Ravens games per year and obviously root hard for them to win but there is no way I'm ever paying that type of money for a ticket... plus airfare, hotel, food, drinks. For a football game? No chance. Well, unless I win the mega-millions. Like I said, no chance.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     February 02
Drew, it's great to see you bringing Bobby Vermillion and "Endless Golf" on at DMD!

Now all you need to do is get Bobby's old partner "The Stallion" on board for his gambling picks!

lou@palo alto     February 02
there is no comparing the modern QB position to Johnny U: can't hit the QB or receiver, OL w different rules, 12 games per yr & call your own plays, too many teams--fyi

larry     February 02
A for profit business being all about the money, say it ain't so! Why in the world would the Orioles, or the Ravens, want only to be "a good citizen"? Newsflash, they are business entities, NOT citizens!

@MFC is correct too. The city needs to revitalize inner harbor back into the crown jewel it used to be, and with Port Covington development, the whole downtown area, including Canton, Fells Point, Fed Hill, etc could generate an insane amount of economic activity. But, you have to make the city safe. At least that part of the city.

Is this mayor up for that? He wants to remember his roots and all, but part of making the city safe is doing things his political party likes to be "outraged" about. Do they have the stones to crack down on things past administrations seemingly turned a blind eye to? And face the wrath of the "outrage for profit" crowd? I sure hope so, cause Baltimore could certainly use an economic revitalization and all the jobs that comes with. What better way to help your impoverished citizens?

Delray Rick     February 02
BRADY the BABE RUTH of football

Jason M     February 02
Brady was the best I ever got to watch, and like #52, I feel privileged that we got to watch one of the all time greats do his thing. I used to hate him for being such a Raven Killer, but hell after awhile you need to give credit where credit is due, and I have probably spent the last decade of his career as an admirer. The stats on his durability are a great and not often cited insight - no missed games for injury since 2008 - Brady is Iron Man.



I think you'll see big crowds at Fan Fest this weekend. I am bullish on the future of the city, 3 James Beard nominated restaurants, Broadway productions at the Hippo, MLB at the Yard and NFL across the way. You're not getting that in Westminster, Columbia or Frederick, as safe as those places are.

MFC     February 02
We have a complex 2 blocks away called the inner harbor, which is supposed to have a major makeover. Port Covington is advancing rapidly, lets take advantage of that. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area. What we need is a safe city. Let's solve that. No squeegee "kids", lots of police presence to feel safe walking the city. People will go downtown if they feel safe.

And let's get the players to be involved in the city. A major outreach program would do miracles and not just with the Oriole Bird.

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Call me cynical but this new Camden Yard complex will be finished when the rebuilt Pimlico Race Course is completed.

Our refurbished downtown arena is going to still be an outdated facility.

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 02
Im surprised idiots online continue to fall for the Os moving nonsense. The Sun perfectly outlined why it behooves the Os not to sign a 5 yr lease causing unfavorable provisions to roll over, plus the 600 mil coming their way let alone the 3 or 4 billion sale price in 2 or 3 years or the fact that MLB has blocked SF, Oak, TB and everybody else thats tried to move without permission the last 70 years. Os are proving the old saying youll never go broke betting on the American public's gullibility.

Vince     February 01
Brady done?....

Or is his movie tanking and this is a ploy to get folks in the theater?

Stats Nerd     February 01
@Howard everything I have heard seems to indicate Exclusive. The consensus seems to be that he is worth more than simply the 2 1sts that non-exclusive carries with it. Of course they could use non-exclusive and still trade him for more than the 2 firsts but it's maybe not as clean

Howard     February 01
Which franchise tag for Lamar? I would favor the non-exclusive tag. If he signs a reasonable contract with another team the Ravens can match it. If the Ravens do not want to match it, they get number one picks in 2023 and 2024. Most importantly, if no one offers him, his 2023 salary is $32 million rather than $45 million, meaning that EDC would not have to blow up the team in order to get under the cap

David Rosenfeld     February 01
Dale as you said the home/road FT disparity is hardly new. Nor is the fact that teams play better at home. I just think some of the stretches the team has had on the road have been horrendous. By the time it's 21-4 or 17-4 or 25-11 or whatever, it's hard to even take the stats for the rest of the game seriously.

I think you hit the nail on the head about last night. Seems silly to say 18 pts and 20 rebounds is making it hard on a guy but it really was...it's a team game that requires a lot more than one guy to win.

hal     February 01
What exactly does "open their books" even mean? So many fans just parrot the media in that regard, what specific financial data do people want to see. More importantly, how much true financial data would a fan or media member even understand?

Ala the BP lunatic, people think they will easily see "that crooked family made two billion $ over the last 10 years" and then pretend "they coulda bought baseball players with that money". These are the same people who say Bisciotti "made" $3B because he paid 750K for Ravens and they could be sold for $4B now.

As for moving, if the O's don't sign a long term lease and eventually move, we need to hold Mayor Scott and Gov Moore accountable. John A claims these two as "personal friends", so how can a lease extension not already be done? I am aware Irsay flat out lied to Schaefer years ago, but Billy Don never claimed that drunken stooge was a personal friend of his, this would be way worse than what happened in 1984. Media should stop chasing Angelos and start chasing B Scott.

Such     February 01
Of more interest than "opening the books" (HaHaHa!) is whether John Angelos signs the one-year lease extension by the end of today. That will be the best indicator of his intentions about the future of the Orioles in Baltimore. His reluctance to do so has me thinking that the Nashville rumors might have some fire and not just smoke.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I can see a scenario where the Orioles go to Nashville and the Oakland A's move here. When billionaires are involved, anything is possible.

Jason M     February 01
They should have a special accounting area set up at fan fest where the P&L can be viewed and audited. They could have the fans get interactive and track how much of their cash made it to the teams bottom line. Talk about interactive and fun for the whole family!

lou@palo alto     February 01
yes, spy is better having played both many times. will be at pebble tho this sat, walking around the turn where u can see holes 8-13--by far the best walking holes for fans

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Youre right Larry. Im only right when i bet the opposite of what Dale predicts. Im not a hater im a thanker!!

CIK     February 01
Dale provides excellent coverage of Terps basketball. His coverage and analysis is thorough and thoughtful. But to say he is hitting 80% winners is preposterous. Just because you write a nice blog doesn’t mean you are “sharp” when picking games.

MFC     February 01
Agree 100% on the Spyglass take, a much better and significantly harder course.



Picking basketball scores might be the hardest of all there are so many variables. Dales does a great job with his reporting and insight how about just enjoying that. If you're placing bets based on his projections the fault lies with you, not him.



TB 12 ruined his marriage for that season?

Josh     February 01
Tom Brady “retiring…for good”. Sure, we’ll see about that

Frank D     February 01
Sooooo - now we can sign Tom Brady for one year and win us another SB??????

Unitastoberry     February 01
As for Angelo's LLC aka Oriole's books. A bird told flew in the window at the warehouse and reported that despite virtually paying nobody but Chris Davis since 1997 they have made a billion plus and paid very little in taxes. The bird was then eaten by a hungry hawk. No further details are available. Remember feed your feathered friends in the cold weather months.

Larry     February 01
Eric in Gaithersburg has never been wrong. Don't you guys all know that?

Creston     February 01
I have followed Dale Williams since he started writing here and I'd put his hoops knowledge up against any of you clowns who criticize him for his predictions.

He probably gets 80% of the games/outcomes right but you clowns only worry about the 20%. Go back to your moms basement clowns and let the basketball guy handle the basketball analysis. Great job Dale!

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Dale wrong as usual! He should do a radio show with Cowherd and Francesa. Backaftathis twitter account would commit suicide from over work. Meanwhile the lame played out Michael Jordan twitter memes from "Turgeon" have oddly disappeared. Never understood that lame flex- look at the new guy failing to dig out the mess i left him? Willard not only deserves coach of the year he also currently 18th ranked recruiting class. Brighter days finally here

Delray RICK     February 01
Read on internet bout KELCE Brothers from their mom when they grew up. HILARIOUS!!

Kevin     January 31
Another spot on prediction by #Dale.

Jk     January 31
Drew......back on the radio. He just announced on Twitter. Welcome back Drew.

hal     January 31
SOD loyalists "RC" and "Geno" must have missed the part where DMD also stated quite clearly that MSJ most certainly did NOT "run up the score" vs CHC. MFC might be being kind saying those guys need a session or two of RC 101, they might need new eyeglasses!

TimD in Timonium     January 31
@Hank, you are correct, sir. LB Roquan Smith has no agent. I thought I'd read he did have one last August, but I'm mistaken. No agent. Got the deal done.

Bobby     January 31
@CIK maybe you should have just stopped at.....



" Nobody knows because Lamar doesn’t put much out there."

Monday
January 16, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3066


as close as it could be


It's not funny "ha ha", but it's funny: For everything that happened in the final two minutes of last night's game, the ball Tyler Huntley threw into the end zone on the game's final play was butchered by the Bengals and James Proche could have actually caught the ball.

Wouldn't that have been something? One of the most maligned wide receivers on the team, miraculously catching a ball inches off the ground on the final play of the game...

And that, of course, would have brought about the question of all questions: What would Harbaugh have done? Extra point and overtime? Or try to win the game right then and there with the 2 point conversion?

Alas, we'll never know.

Proche, as you know, didn't catch the ball.

People immediately took to Twitter and said he "dropped" it, but that wasn't quite true. It was one of those crazy plays where the ball just sort of shows up out of nowhere and you have a split-second to pick up its flight and haul it in.

Proche will rue the missed opportunity, of course, and that game will likely be remembered for a long time for the play at the end of the game that almost provided the Ravens with a miracle finish.

But we all know what play was the backbreaker. The game changer, as it sadly turned out.


The Ravens were about to go ahead 24-17 in the 4th quarter when Tyler Huntley had the ball knocked out of his hands on the goal line and Cincinnati's Sam Hubbard lumbered 98 yards for an improbable touchdown to flip the script and give the Bengals the 24-17 lead.

And that's how it ended, with the Bengals moving on to face the Bills and the Ravens heading home to start one of the most important off-seasons in the John Harbaugh era.

An otherwise solid performance by Tyler Huntley last night was scarred by a 4th quarter fumble on the Cincinnati goal line.

There will be lots of talk about the Huntley quarterback "leap" from the 2 yard line.

It might go down in Baltimore sports history the same way "the fumble" played out in Cleveland or, yikes, the way "Billy Cundiff" is remembered in Charm City.

There's no guarantee the Ravens win if Huntley doesn't fumble, of course, but a 24-17 lead with the Baltimore defense playing with their hair on fire? One can only imagine.

So, the breakdown begins.

Bad play call?

All blame on Huntley?

The Bengals made a play there, of course. Don't they get any credit for a job well done?

No matter what happened last night, Greg Roman was always going to get the bulk of the criticism if the Ravens didn't win the game.

That wasn't going to change if Baltimore would have lost 13-10 or 33-30. Somehow, Roman would get the blame.

And in this case, he'll get blamed for not giving the ball to either Dobbins or Edwards on the 2 yard line. We'll never know what might have happened, of course. For all we know, Dobbins or Edwards might have fumbled as well.

But we know Huntley did fumble, at the very worst moment, with the worst possible outcome. It's one thing if he fumbles there and the Bengals fall on it on the 7 yard line or something.

Not only did Huntley have the ball knocked out of his hand, it went right to a Cincy player who would take it the length of the field into the end zone.

That one is hard to recover from, especially in the fourth quarter. And on the road, too.

The Ravens defense did their part thereafter, eventually forcing a punt that gave Huntley and the offense exceptional field position with 3 minutes and some change remaining.

And Huntley did his fair share of good work in the waning minutes, eventually getting the Ravens all the way down to the 17 yard line with under a minute remaining. But he couldn't get them into the end zone.

In a weird twist, Huntley was both partially responsible for the Ravens being in the game and also partially responsible for the Ravens losing the game. Such is the quarterback's life. They're the engine. They make things go. Or not.


Predictably, there were quotes of frustration oozing out of the Baltimore locker room after the game. The most intense of those coming from running back J.K. Dobbins.

"He (Huntley) should have never been in that situation. I don't get a single carry. I didn't get a single carry. He should never have been in that situation. I believe I would have put it in the end zone, again."

Without saying his name, running back J.K. Dobbins took issue with the way offensive coordinator Greg Roman used him in Sunday's playoff loss to the Bengals.

Dobbins rolled on: "I'm a guy who feels like I should be on the field all the time. It's the playoffs. Why am I not out there?"

And one more jab at the coaching staff for good measure: "I should be the guy. I'm tired of holding that back," said Dobbins. "I'm a playmaker. I'm a guy that my teammates feed off me when I'm on the field."

Harbaugh was asked about the play and play call afterwards and seemed to indicate Huntley didn't go about it correctly. "We felt like we had a good call; it was a push-sneak play. It wasn't executed just the correct way. Tyler went over the top. That's a 'burrow' play; he has to go low on that. That's the way the play is designed. We felt like that was the best call; we just didn't execute it right."

And so, there you have it.

"The leap", as we all might refer to it 10 years from now, was designed for Huntley to go low. He, for reasons only he knows, decided to go high.

If he scores there and the Ravens win, no one says a word about failing to go low.

If he scores there and the Ravens win, Dobbins perhaps voices his displeasure privately to Harbaugh -- like Gus Edwards did a few weeks ago -- but doesn't create any kind of public uproar in the wake of a key playoff victory.

If he scores there and the Ravens win, Roman -- if this is even possible, which it likely isn't -- is given a measure of grace by a rabid fan base, having helped author a stunning road post-season win without one of the top quarterbacks in the league and virtually no wide receivers.

If, if, if...

All of them got turned around the moment the football fell into Sam Hubbard's arms and he started his 20 second trot in the other direction.

Huntley entered into Baltimore football history in a way he won't like in the years to come.

Dobbins and his fondness for the offensive coordinator's decision is now a matter of public record, a slice of strife he can no longer deny, even if he wanted to do that.

And Roman, as we've said here for weeks now, came up short of the miracle he needed to keep his position in Owings Mills. Whether his dismissal is the team's first order of post-season business remains to be seen, but last night's loss in Cincinnati ended his tenure in Charm City.


We'll do the heavy post-season unpacking later this week.

Storyline #1, of course, will be Lamar Jackson.

Is surgery on the table for him, no pun intended? If that's the case, there's a chance -- depending on the damage and the "amount" of the repair that's necessary -- he won't be ready for the opening game in September.

Will he be signed to a long-term deal within the next two months? If he isn't, the Ravens will most certainly franchise him and start the process of trying to marry themselves to an overbidding and overwilling partner. The New York Jets will pop up as the team with the most interest, I'm guessing.

Harbaugh will, without a doubt, be asked about Lamar's absence from the sidelines in Cincinnati.

The coach might be able to navigate his way around the situation by simply saying, "Injured players stay home when we play a road game" but that's not a league rule or anything like that. It's just a thing the Ravens do as policy.

Had Jackson said to Harbaugh on Friday, "Coach, I want to be in Cincinnati, on the sidelines, helping Snoop and Anthony Brown", Jackson would have been there.

It really is that simple.

So what will happen is quite clear: Lamar lovers will say "it's a non-issue" and Lamar critics will say "How are you going to give $250 million to a guy who won't travel with his "brothers" to help them win a playoff game?"

Like Ben Affleck said in the final scene of Good Will Hunting: I don't know much, but I know that.

Me? Personally? I think Lamar should have been there, yes. But him not being healthy for two straight months of December is one million times more important than whether or not he traveled with the team to stand on the sidelines for a playoff game.

Put your disputes in their proper order, I say.

I don't see any way Lamar gained contract leverage over the last seven weeks. I have no idea how much value he lost in Baltimore, but he lost some, for sure.

All of that would have been backburner stuff -- at least for now -- if Huntley doesn't fumble that ball and the Ravens hold on for a win last night.

One play changed the game.

One play changed a lot of things, actually.


The closure, if you will, to Sunday night's game is fairly obvious I think.

The playoffs are the goal, every season. Plain and simple. You just have to get in. From there, it's a chase to either win four or three games without losing one.

There are, of course, occasional blowouts, but the Bills were biting their nails with 5 minutes left yesterday, the Chargers coughed up an improbable lead on Saturday night and the Vikings are one-and-done after the 9-7-1 Giants went to Minnesota yesterday and won.

The margin between the Ravens and Bengals is razor-thin. Yes, their offense is much, much better than the Ravens' offense. We know that to be true. But the Baltimore defense is better than the Cincinnati defense.

And in the end, even without their quarterback or any decent wide receivers, the Ravens took the Bengals to the last play of the game and the ball somehow slipped away from James Proche just as he was about to snag a coveted spot in Baltimore sports history.

The Ravens were spirited competitors on Sunday night.

As the saying goes in sports, they have nothing at all to be ashamed of, other than the fact that they were closer-than-close to winning and just didn't get it done.

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DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


terps fall by 14 at iowa


The Iowa Hawkeyes took advantage of a Maryland Terrapin team that either couldn’t, or wouldn’t, play defense yesterday. Iowa was able to shoot a season high 60% from the field because the bulk of their shots were layups, dunks, or short (5 feet) jumpers.

The hosts outscored Maryland 15-0 on fast break points on Sunday afternoon and ran away from a Terrapin team that trailed by as little as 6 with under 10 minutes remaining in the game. It all added up to an 81-67 Hawkeye win.

Tony Perkins was first to abuse the Maryland defenders, streaking his way to 15 first half points on 7 of 9 shooting. These were all close-range shots after he either blew by a defender off of the dribble or on cuts where a Terp was caught sleeping.

Kris Murray had an even more dominant second half than Perkins did first. Murray, after sitting large portions of the first half with foul trouble, put up 17 second half points on an efficient 11 shots. Most of those were also layups.

For Maryland, Jahmir Young led with 20 points while Donta Scott had 15 points and 11 rebounds. It was a nice double/double for Scott, but his defense yesterday was atrocious.

Through the first two TV timeouts the game was tight at 12-10 with Iowa holding the slim 2-point lead. All of Maryland’s points came in the paint, both teams were 0-2 from the three-point line, and the Terps had already accumulated 4 turnovers.

By the 11:20 mark of the first half, both Juju Reese and Kris Murray were benched with 2 fouls each. At this point, two quick buckets by the Hawkeyes, the second an “and-one” on a fast break, extended the Iowa lead to 17-10.

A poorly defended out-of-bounds play gave the Hawkeyes two more points and forced Kevin Willard to call a timeout with his team now trailing 19-10 and having gone almost 3 minutes without a point.

A Donta Scott 4-footer finally broke the Terrapin scoreless spell, and a layup by Reese trimmed the advantage back down to 5, 19-14. Willard was gambling, having reinserted Reese, and the Terp sophomore was responding. Reese scored 10 of Maryland’s first 18 points in the game.

Iowa’s Payton Sandfort finally hit the contest’s first triple with 6:14 remaining in the half, but it was fast break points and an offensive rebound layup that quickly extended the Iowa lead to 10.

A second three by Iowa, against a really weak Maryland zone defense, gave Iowa a 14-point lead with 3:57 left in the half. All of this Iowa success was coming with Murray on the bench. Not a good sign for Maryland.

Another offensive put back gave the Hawkeyes their largest lead at 16 points, but the Terps kept getting inside, finally hit a three, and cut the lead to 10, 43-33, at the half.

The second half started with Scott and Hart hitting consecutive threes. Scott then followed with an inside jumper, and in a flash the Iowa 10-point halftime lead had been trimmed to just 2. The first TV timeout of the second half came with the Hawkeyes leading by three. When play resumed, some sloppy Maryland offense led to fast break points for Iowa and pushed them to a 6-point lead.

With the Terps on defense, Scott lost Murray, and Murray buried a three. Iowa was back up by 9, 53-44. The Terps were still getting torched by Tony Perkins who was 10 for 13 from the field for 22 points. A good amount of the weak defense was being played by Scott and Don Carey. Carey struggled all game, going 1-4 from the field (all threes) and grabbing just a single rebound while turning it over twice.

With 5:13 left in the game, Maryland trailed by 8, 69-61. The fast break points were telling the story. Iowa had 15 and Maryland had zero. The Hawkeyes were continually going to their star, Kris Murray, and the Terps had no answer. Murray was 6 for 10 at this point in the second half, good for 13 points, and there was still 3:39 left in the game. The Terps now trailed by 10, 73-63.

The rest of the contest proceeded with Iowa making their last 7 shots while the Terps failed to make a field goal during the final 2:39 of the game.

Iowa played too fast for Maryland. That they could outrun the Terps like that has me baffled.

Maryland had a full week off while the Hawkeyes played a tough game just last Thursday. And yet still, Maryland lagged behind the Hawkeyes in transition.

The fact that Maryland had zero fast-break points can be explained as the Terps wanting to slow the pace. But failing to all-out retreat when Iowa gained possession is inexcusable.

After starting the season with quickly run sets on offense and moving with a purpose on defense, this team has been slow on the court far too many times. When your team shoots poorly, as the Terps usually do, they simply can’t overcome lackluster defensive efforts. That’s what they gave tonight.

Let’s acknowledge how good the Iowa offense can be, but Maryland made it way too easy tonight. Their effort didn’t match their opponent’s effort. The Terps don’t have the talent to compete with good teams unless they play all out for 40 minutes. I don’t think we got that tonight….again.

Maryland will get another crack at Michigan on Thursday. The 7 P.M. game can be seen on ESPN.

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#DMD GAME DAY
Week 18


Sunday — January 15, 2023
Issue #3065

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

8:20 PM EDT

Paycor Stadium
Cincinnati, OH

Spread: Bengals (-9.5)



"must win" time has arrived


Anyone heard any good Justin Herbert jokes lately?

The way I see it, the Ravens can do just about anything tonight vs. the Bengals and there's no way they're going to be "the story" of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.

The Chargers have that locked up after squandering a 27-0 lead last night in Jacksonville and losing, 31-30.

I guess the Ravens could win tonight and that would be quite the story given the obstacles they're facing in Cincinnati, but aside from that, nothing will top what L.A. did to themselves in Jacksonville on Saturday evening.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals have the Ravens right where they want them...or do they?

The Ravens do, though, face a monumental task tonight when they tangle with the Bengals.

They're facing one of the hottest teams in the league and Lamar Jackson is out and Tyler Huntley is apparently limited enought that he'll be a game-time decision.

Here's the thing: If Anthony Brown winds up getting the call at QB and he plays tonight like he did last Sunday in the second half of that loss to the Bengals, the Ravens do stand a chance of winning.

If his performance tonight mirrors what he displayed in the first half last week, then the Ravens will be eliminated. But the odds of Brown performing that poorly again this evening are slim. He was that bad last Sunday in the opening two quarters. It would be hard to do that again.

This is a massive mountain to climb for the Ravens but not an impossible one, as much as the commenting public and media "experts" are indicating otherwise over the last day or two.

Here's the formula for a Baltimore win, no matter if it's Huntley or Brown who gets the call under center.

The Ravens put together a solid opening quarter. They go toe-to-toe with Cincinnati early on. Each team gets two or three opening quarter possesions, perhaps a field goal is traded, and it's "still a game" after the first 15 minutes.

Not falling behind will allow for the Ravens to -- hopefully -- run the ball with effectiveness.

One obvious part of the game plan will be a rushing attack that gets somewhere in the 150 to 175 yard range for the evening. If the Ravens rush for 175 yards or more, they're in great shape.

A defensive turnover or two is likely going to be necessary tonight given what we expect to see from the offense.

Whether it's a forced fumble deep in the Bengals' own territory that the Ravens can parlay into a touchdown of their own or a Burrow interception deep in their territory that thwarts a Bengals' scoring drive, the formula for success tonight will likely include an improbable turn of events where the Bengals shoot themselves in the foot a couple of times.

It wouldn't hurt to block a field goal or have the Cincy kicker miss one, too. Those are, for all intents and purposes, "turnovers", in that they're scoring attempts that don't yield any points.

You get the picture: The Ravens need a lot of things to go right for them tonight. But it's a football game. The ball isn't round. And as the Ravens saw last night when they watched L.A./Jacksonville, anything can happen.

And the things that need to happen in the course of the 60 minutes tonight are things that happened last Sunday in Cincinnati to some degree and have happened in other games recently, too.

The Ravens have, at times, run the ball very effectively over the last six weeks.

Burrow got the ball knocked out of his hands last Sunday night deep in his own territory.

Calais Campbell blocked a key field goal attempt earlier this year in Pittsburgh.

The Ravens aren't chopped liver. Their defense is excellent. There are components of their offense that are high-functioning. They are, for lack of a better term, "diminished" at quarterback tonight, but that doesn't mean it's an automatic loss in Cincinnati.

And while I suspect the Bengals won't treat it as such, if they do think they're just going to roll their helmets out there and win they might be in for a shocking turn of events.

Just ask the Chargers, who likely assumed the game was over last night when it was 27-0.

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how drew sees tonight's game


Let's see if I can nail the final score of this one again this week.

Actually, I hope I don't.

I hope I'm dead wrong.

I don't see the Ravens winning tonight. But, like last week, I think this will be a football game when the fourth quarter starts.

Unless something wacky happens and the Ravens fall behind early and have to throw the ball a lot and the Bengals get a number of "extra possessions" and wear down the Ravens defense, I don't see Cincinnati piling up a bunch of points.

I think the Ravens will have some success following "the formula". They'll run the ball with effectiveness at times in the first half and a defensive turnover of some kind will limit the Bengals. The hosts lead at the half, 10-6.

The Ravens make it 10-9 on the first drive of the third quarter but Cincinnati follows with a touchdown to make it 17-9. It stays that way until late in the third quarter when the Ravens get a touchdown throw to Isaiah Likely. They go for two and fail to pick it up, trailing 17-15.

Cincinnati responds with a long drive to open the fourth quarter and they score a touchdown on a Hayden Hurst catch with 8 minutes remaining in the game. But they miss the extra point to make the score 23-15.

The Ravens start to wobble offensively and go 4 and out on the next series, giving the Bengals the ball at midfield. Cincinnati connects on a field goal at the two minute warning to make it 26-15.

Trailing by two scores, Justin Tucker connects on a 44 yard field goal in the game's final 30 seconds to make it 26-18 but the ensuing onside kick isn't successful. Cincinnati wins and ends the Ravens season, 26-18.

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terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


terps take on iowa today


I’ll be dead honest with you.

When it comes to today’s Maryland vs Iowa basketball game, I barely have a clue what outcome to expect. I’ve watched Iowa lose and I’ve watched film of good wins and tough losses.

I’ve seen road games and home games. I’ve also watched them beat a Michigan team that toyed with Maryland (actually, I watched that game twice). All that and I’m still searching for something that I believe will hold up for 40 minutes in this game.

The only thing on which I think we can rely, is that the Hawkeye’s Kris Murrey is a real problem.

Maryland needs a big game today from Jahmir Young when they travel to Iowa State for a 4:30 start time.

At 21.4 points per game, Murray is the Big Ten’s leading scorer. You might remember his brother, Keegan, who was one of the top Big Ten players last season and who is now plying his trade with the Sacramento Kings in the NBA. Kris is so tough, offensively, because he is a true triple threat.

Murray can beat you with a three (37.5%), off of the dribble, or with his back to the basket. His overall shooting percentage is over 50% and he’s solid from the foul line too (75%).

At 6’7”, Murray isn’t the biggest guy on the court, but he has really long arms and doesn’t need much room to get off a shot inside, or to launch a three. He’s his team’s leading rebounder too, at 9.5 per game. I expect Murray to give Maryland, and Donta Scott, fits.

He’ll post over 20 points and be the best player on the court. Stopping him with the talent on the Terp roster isn’t an option, but they can’t let him go crazy and get 35 or 40.

When Murray isn’t scoring, Filip Rebraca might be. He’s 57% from the floor on a team that leads the Big Ten in scoring at over 82 points a game. Rebraca plays an inside game to get his points, both in the set offense and off the offensive glass. In fact, this whole Hawkeye team works the offensive boards to the tune of 12.6 per game. That’s second in the Big Ten, trailing only Purdue (and the giant 7’4” Zach Edey) by .3.

The Rebraca matchup against the Terp’s Julian Reese might dictate the outcome of today’s game. Rebraca is listed at 6’9” and 230 pounds, identical to that of Reese. But Rebraca plays a tougher type of ball. He’s much more physical than Reese, but not nearly as athletic.

Which style will win out tonight may depend upon the temperamental Reese’s demeanor. Reese needs to play tough, accept the banging, and remain poised. If he can accomplish that, he may be able to hold his own.

The last of what I consider to be “key” guys for Iowa is reserve forward Peyton Sandfort. Despite not being in the starting lineup, Sandfort has been seeing near-starter minutes lately and went for 22 and 26 points in Iowa’s last two contests. He is more of a volume shooter than an efficient scorer, but he still can put points on a scoreboard.

Pat McCaffery (the coach’s son), Tony Perkin (a 6’4” guard), and point guard Ahron Ulis make up the rest of the starting lineup. The 6’9” McCaffrey and 2-guard Perkins each get double digit points per game. I’d describe each as solid but not spectacular.

The point guard, Ulis, can get into the paint to make short jumpers. But I wouldn’t count on him to produce major points.

As a team, Iowa lights up the scoreboard because Murray is so hard to stop and the rest of the squad produces second-chance points off of offensive rebounds. They also get a lot of looks because they play with tempo.

Maryland can’t compete with Iowa if they attempt to play the Hawkeye’s game. In a fast paced, run and gun game, Maryland’s offense is not efficient enough to hang with Murray and the Hawkeyes. The Terps need to limit Iowa to one shot, and then run their sets. Again, it’s the rebounding that makes controlling pace possible.

On most nights, Maryland won’t shoot well enough to overcome second chance points on the other end. With Murray and Rebraca a shoe in to combine for at least 30 points on sets, second chance points are key.

You don’t average over 80 a game without getting some fast break points. So, it’s obvious that those opportunities need to be limited also.

I’ll list the keys in what I believe to be the order of importance.

First, control the defensive glass and in doing so dictate tempo. Second, don’t let Murray beat you from the three-point line. Make him take the ball to the glass. Third, get Reese involved inside and let Scott work his dribble drive game on Murray when those two are matched up.

I didn’t mention Jahmir Young offensively, because that’s always this team’s best scoring option. Stop Young, and the Terps are troubled.

I’m not sure Iowa has the speed and size to consistently cut off Young tonight. On dribble penetration opportunities, I’d keep Murray’s assignment away from the bucket to draw Murray away, then I’d look to kick it out if Murray comes inside looking to help.

Aside from Murray, the talent level isn’t way different here. Iowa plays bigger, but they play below average defense. They also just had a rough overtime victory against Michigan on Thursday while the Terps have had the whole week off. Maryland should be the fresher team.

Maryland is a 6-point underdog for this 4:30 p.m. start at the Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

If you watch the game on the BTN, you’ll see the fresh legs of Maryland in a dogfight against the Hawkeyes.

With Iowa having a go-to guy like Murray, and with Rebraca besting Reese, Maryland won’t come out a winner. They’ll be in it, before finally succumbing, 75-73.

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Saturday
January 14, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3064


way to go, sammy


I mean, I think we all knew the Lamar Jackson saga wasn't actually going to end with his Thursday tweet that he was not going to play on Sunday vs. the Bengals.

But I had belief that maybe, just maybe, we could have a Lamar-free-zone here today. And tomorrow.

Unfortunately, Sammy Watkins got involved yesterday and here we are again. Not quite "square one", but close to it.

In case you haven't seen what Watkins told The Washington Post, here it is:

"In this league, everybody is pretty much banged up, hurt. I don’t want to speak for him and his situation and whatever he’s going through with the contracts. I don’t know what world he’s in. But for me, you got a chance to do something special. We all know with Lamar Jackson out there, this team is really freaking good, and special things can happen. He can will this team to a Super Bowl. I don’t think he’s thinking about it that way."

Oh boy.

But there's more.

"I think the world is ready to see Lamar back on the field, doing what he do best, and get all the stipulations and contract stuff behind him," Watkins said. "I pray somebody talks to him like, 'Man, just sign the deal.' You know what I mean? And he get out there and hopefully, if...he’s healthy, he can just come play this Sunday. We all know that’s up to Lamar and whatever goes on. Hopefully, they get something done."

And so, here we are.

You have a player, albeit a guy who has only been around the team for the better part of a month, maybe, essentially connecting Lamar's contract situation with his absence on Sunday.

It's fair to point out two things here:

Watkins spent the 2021 campaign with the Ravens, so he knew Jackson before his return to the team in December.

Second...with all due respect. Sammy Watkins might not know one thing about Lamar Jackson's "status" and how badly his knee is hurt and whether he can play or not play on Sunday.

But you know what people are going to say: "Where there's smoke, there's fire."

And I have been saying this for a couple of weeks now and it bears repeating, despite the fact the Ravens might be 36 hours away from their season ending: This kind of stuff, where people -- including players, perhaps -- feel like Jackson's absence is somehow connected to his contract situation, is an inevitable part of the saga.

A Barstool writer who has, in the past, released some breaking news about the Ravens a day in advance of the "national media" having the story, added fuel to the fire on Friday with a lengthy commentary about Jackson and his recent history with the team's medical staff. As we also mentioned here back in November and December, Lamar's track record with therapy sessions wasn't, let's say, exactly "tip-top". He wouldn't out-and-out miss rehab/therapy sessions, but we were told he wouldn't always see them to completion or might show up a few minutes late, etc.


Anyway, it's all adding up to more speculation about Jackson, his injury, and whether he could play this weekend but doesn't want to unless he's 100%.

There's also some mild speculation that Jackson might have to undergo PCL reconstruction in the off-season and if he does, the recovery time for that is similar to that of an ACL repair. If Lamar goes under the knife next week for a PCL repair, he'd be out 9 or 10 months.

It's an incredibly complicated story, no doubt about it.

The most important part of it to the Ravens, presently, is the game on Sunday night in Cincinnati. They'd have a puncher's chance with Lamar in there, even at 80%. Without him, their puncher's chance dwindles down to "you guys need a miracle..."

But further on down the road, the Ravens face the scenario of keeping Lamar and paying him (whatever that might be) or trying to create a tag-and-trade opportunity with a number of quarterback-starved teams. It gets even more complex now if Jackson has to get surgery for his knee injury. His value would drop if surgery is part of the equation.

The Ravens themselves are going to be thrust into the middle of this, too. They will be accused of playing "dirty pool" with Jackson.

No matter what they try in terms of damage repair, the Ravens are damned-if-they-do and damned-if-they-don't.

If they proceed as they have for the better part of six weeks without telling anyone much of anything about Lamar's knee injury, the fan base is going to say, "You guys knew all along he was hurt that bad but you didn't tell the public because you wanted Lamar to navigate the situation all on his own and you wanted him to come out looking like the bad guy."

And if they try to force Lamar to "brace up" and play this weekend on an unstable knee (as Lamar called it), the Ravens are then accused of "trying to make Lamar play, further increase his chances of getting hurt worse, and thereby diminishing his contract value."

No matter what the Ravens do, some portion of the fan base and national media is going to actually blame the Ravens for all of this.


And while I am quick to say I certainly don't know all the facts or true details of this situation, here's the one I do know for sure: Lamar is the only one who knew about the condition of his knee and how it felt on a daily basis. Whatever information he passed on to the trainers and medical staff was then passed on to John Harbaugh and his coaching staff.

No one knew on December 5th that Lamar Jackson wouldn't play again in 2022-2023. Lamar Jackson himself didn't even know that, if you believe what Lamar said earlier this week.

When Kyler Murray tore his ACL in November, the club announced the very next day his season was over.

But in Lamar's case, no one knew, particularly the Ravens. Truth be told, as a team associate said to me this week, the Ravens expected Jackson back by the Pittsburgh game on January 1 at the very latest. "It was assumed he might be ready for Atlanta but the Pittsburgh game was the one that was circled for his return," the person told me.

When John Harbaugh was asked in mid-December if he expected Lamar back this season, he answered with three words. "Sure. Of course."

He answered that way because the Ravens never once suspected Jackson could be done for the season.

Sammy Watkins took the story to a whole new level on Friday when the story broke in The Post.

My guess is Watkins will somehow issue a retraction or "clarification" today after Ravens PR corners him and tells him how much of an uproar his comments are causing. You can expect something from Watkins today that will attempt to soften his comments. It's coming.

And yet, through all of this, the Ravens still want Lamar to be there quarterback in 2023 and beyond. They'll get back on the negotiating track as soon as the season ends with the hope of securing Jackson to a long-term deal that fits their eye.

In the meantime, the Ravens have to figure out a way to beat the Bengals tomorrow night or their season is over.

Yes, there actually is a football game to be played, still.

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Friday
January 13, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3063


"next man up"


Tyler Huntley, it's your team now.

Or maybe it's Anthony Brown Jr.'s team on Sunday in Cincinnati.

One thing we know now: It's not Lamar's team in the playoff opener vs. the Bengals.

Will these two ever win another game together in Baltimore?

Jackson spoke on the record for the first time yesterday since a December 4th injury, confirming he suffered a grade 2 strain of his Posterior Cruciate Ligament and saying "I wish I could be out there with my guys more than anything but I can't give 100% to my guys and fans I'm still hopeful we have a chance."

Lamar's not playing on Sunday vs. the Bengals.

The Ravens just went from a team with a decent chance to win to a team with little chance to win. It's not a done deal, of course. "They don't play the games on paper", as the saying goes.

And the Baltimore defense is definitely capable of shutting down the Bengals offense. They sorta-kinda did it last Sunday, remember.

But it will take a virtuoso performance from the defense and an out-of-this-world effort from the offense for the Ravens to pull off the upset on Sunday night.

It can happen. But.........I think we're all prepared for the inevitable.


And now, of course, the discourse about Lamar heats up in earnest.

A) "Really injured" and just not able to play at all?

B) "Kinda injured" and able to play at less than 100% but doesn't want to risk further injury given his contract situation?

C) "Was injured but isn't really any longer" and just doesn't want to play because a poor performance and playoff loss could hurt his value with the Ravens or the rest of the league?

Your mileage may vary, but as I wrote here last week, if Lamar doesn't play again this season most of the purple-wearing population are going to opt for (B) and (C) above when they discuss Jackson's situation in the coming weeks.

That might be unfair, but it is what it is.

Let's also point out, clearly, that what the public thinks about Lamar doesn't matter one bit in terms of what he does going forward. The Ravens aren't going to put any stock in it and I'm sure Lamar won't, either. He knows, as well as anyone, people are going to think what they want to think. End of story.

It's what the Ravens think that matters most in this scenario.

They are, after all, the ones with the checkbook.

If they believe it's (A) above, then they'll proceed accordingly with contract extension talks once the season's over and the hope is Jackson gets the contract he deserves and remains a Raven.

But if the Ravens internally believe it's (B) or (C), that's where trouble starts brewing.

How do they fork over upwards of $250 million to a guy who didn't play in a playoff game when he could have "manned up" and given it the old college try? I'm not saying that's the case, mind you. I'm asking the question as if the Ravens are asking it of themselves.

Ten players -- or more -- are less than 100% heading into Sunday's game. But they'll tape it up, wrap it up or shoot it up and go out there and play football. They'll do whatever they have to do to play because it's must-win time.

Jackson missing this playoff game gives the Ravens reason to wonder. And that's not a good thing, especially when you're dealing with a quarter of a billion dollars.

I do want to make this abundantly clear, though. The Ravens believe Lamar to be a honorable, upstanding man. Other than an occasional goofy social media message or two, they've had no issues with him over the last five years.

"It would be out of character for him to do anything suspect or questionable," a team associate told me this week. "He's been as close to a model citizen as you can be for us."

And while that, I think, is easy and very reasonable to believe, it's not taking into account the kind of heat and advice Jackson might be getting from folks he trusts. For all we know, the "model citizen" might be hearing countless suggestions from people who tell him playing at less than 100% is silly given his contractual situation.

I don't know, of course, if that's happening. But you can certainly see where an authority figure or two would lean on Jackson to think "long term" instead of "short term" in this delicate situation of his.


John Harbaugh, quickly becoming the town's favorite whipping boy despite not really having a role in this saga, is getting chewed up by people who think he has somehow been dishonest since he called Jackson's knee injury "not season ending" at his December 5 press conference.

Harbaugh said that because that's what team doctors told him. "He'll be out a few weeks, but he'll be OK for January."

I dealt with several serious knee injuries in my days in the soccer business. Michael King tore his ACL in Buffalo. I was in the locker room during the tests doctors were doing. I could tell it wasn't good. One of them patted King on the leg and said, "You'll be fine in 10 months," and turned to me and said, "He's suffered a full tear of his ACL. He's done for the rest of the season."

And I reported that as such and that was that. But I only reported what the doctors told me.

When Harbaugh told the media "a few weeks...it's not season ending", he was saying that because that's what doctors originally thought the injury would entail.

I don't know how many different ways I have to say this to etch it in stone. John Harbaugh has not once had a clue when or if Lamar Jackson was coming back to play. He might have known a little more about Lamar's knee than you and I -- but not much more.

Every day -- and I mean that...EVERY day -- since December 5, Harbaugh has asked the trainers and/or Lamar himself the same question.

"How's Lamar's knee? Any progress?"

And every day, the head coach gets something close to the same answer.

"Not there yet."

"Still swollen. He's not even able to run on it without pain."

"Getting a little better, but not healing as quickly as we anticipated."

Harbaugh asks. Nothing changes.

The media asks, too. And he generates the same basic answer but tries to use different verbage just to not sound like a broken record.

"I hate hearing Harbaugh up there lying like he does about Lamar," people have been saying.

He's not lying. He just doesn't know anything. And no matter how many times Harbaugh says to the media, "I really don't want to talk about injuries," they keep on asking anyway.

And he can't give them any new information because there's none given to him.

But you can rest assured not a day has gone by where Harbaugh hasn't asked someone associated with the team's medical/training staff or the quarterback himself, "How's Lamar doing?"

So now the Ravens will go into Cincinnati with Tyler Huntley at quarterback, himself dealing with an injured throwing shoulder that forced him to miss last Sunday's regular season finale in Cincinnati. If Huntley can't go, Anthony Brown Jr. gets the call.

Either way, it's not great news for the Ravens.

Either way, they're facing an uphill climb.

As we know, beating the Bengals with Lamar would have been tough. Going out there and playing without him? Yikes.

The rest of the story will follow in the aftermath of Sunday's outcome.

If the Ravens get boatraced by the Bengals, Jackson's going to take a lot of heat. I'm sure he isn't overly concerned with it, and I'm not sure what all of it he deserves, but it's definitely coming his way.



I appreciate the spirited, fair discourse going on in the Comments section this week. Many of the topics are delicate and the way you all have gone back and forth in a fair, equitable manner is great to see.

But there's one thing...

And let it be known, before you guys start calling me a creep, that I've been letting this go for a while now. But I'm going to be vigilant on this moving forward.

It's simple: When making a comment, USE. A. NAME. Or, if you prefer, initials. Name or initials...either works.

I grandfathered "UnitasToBerry" as a "name" because I know the person behind the moniker and if he says something out of line, I know how to reach him. 90% of you, probably more like 95%, I don't know your identity in the least.

"Stats Nerd" is also fine because he's a writer here whom I know personally very well. He's a longtime friend.

And while I don't want or need to know those of you who post here, I do want a mechanism in place to reach out to you. And just like you weren't "really" 21 when you first showed your I.D. at a Towson area bar, I'm smart enough to know all the ways you avoid typing in legitimate information to post here.

In a perfect world, you would just put your first name down. That would be fine. But your initials work as well.

What isn't going to work is "FACT CHECK". That's not your name. And while I allowed that to stay up yesterday, it's not going to stay up starting next week.

And while we're at it, since I feel like I might as well be a jerk all in one day. "Nathan Aparisto" isn't staying up after Monday either. It's not cute. It's stupid, if I'm being honest. And since I'm still bitter about the Caps losing in Philly the other night, I'm being overly honest. Yes, "Nathan Aparisto" or the various forms of it is a name, but we're not dumb here. I know what you're doing. It's #clownshoes stuff, bro. Be better.

Thanks for your attention to this. Just be a friend and be extra human and put a name or initials on your comment. If you use stuff like "FACT CHECK", your post will be removed.

Appreciate all of you.

The Site Owner.

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faith in sports


Short and sweet.

There's a one minute video of Scottie Scheffler below. You might remember him. He won the 2022 Masters.

Why does Scheffler play golf?

The answer might surprise you.

Please give this one minute video a chance this morning. While your Keurig is brewing your first morning cup, just watch this video for 60 seconds. Your coffee will hot and ready when the video ends.

Thanks, as always, to our friends at Freestate Electrical for their continued support of "Faith in Sports".


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Thursday
January 12, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3062


thursday things


I'm in a particularly unpleasant mood this morning.

Last night in Philadelphia, the worst franchise in the history of American sports -- actually, world-wide sports -- posted a 5-3 win over the Capitals.

Losing to the Flyers is like losing to Duke, the Yankees and the Steelers....combined.

T.J. Oshie tallied in Philadelphia last night but the Capitals fell to the rat fink Flyers, 5-3.

And there's little solace in the fact it was 4-1 in the third period before the Caps scratched their way back into the game and actually had chances to tie it up before the Flyers sealed their win with a lucky empty net goal. A loss is a loss is a loss.

It was good to see both Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom back on the ice and going strong. Those two made their respective season debuts on Sunday in the 1-0 win over Columbus and collected more ice time in last night's loss. The Caps are already off to a decent start in '22-23 and their return(s) makes D.C. even better.

But, still, they lost to the Flyers last night. Nothing makes up for that fact, unfortunately.

I was actually thinking about heading up there for last night's game, but couldn't get my hands on a Bobby Clarke hockey card in time. Alas, I ordered four of them on eBay earlier this week so I'm prepared for either a playoff game in Philly in April/May or a regular season game or two next season.

Last night, though, was a bummer. Knowing those fans got to stroll out of the Wells Fargo Center with a smile on their face is tough to take. I'm glad I wasn't there to witness it in person.

Making the trip up I-95, fighting that 5 pm traffic, paying $25 to park and then watching the Caps get beat? Not. Cool. At. All.


I'm not sure how many of you are sports wagering folks and, even more, I'm not certain how many of you follow golf closely enough to wager on it.

Let me tell you this on January 11, 2023 so you can prepare your wagering budget accordingly.

Tom Kim is the real deal.

#DMD says Tom Kim will be a multiple-tournament winner in 2023.

This isn't the first time you've heard me praise Tom Kim's golf game. He blossomed last year and was essentially a "late-summer" phenom in the world of golf. His play and enthusiasm in the Presidents Cup was one of the main storylines of that event last September.

But now it's a full, "real" season of PGA Tour golf and all the big boys (minus the charlatans who jumped to LIV) are on the tee week-after-week to win trophies and money. July and early August golf often features reduced-quality fields and such. Starting in January, though, the fields are typcially loaded.

Tom Kim is fully capable of beating anyone. And I think you're going to see him win multiple times this year, including, potentially, a major championship. He's the betting favorite (+1100) at this week's Sony Open in Hawaii. Spieth and Matsuyama are both in the field this week and it's Kim -- not even a full year on TOUR -- who is the betting favorite.

That tells you something right there. He's not a secret any longer, so his betting odds are dipping with each tournament he plays, but you'd be wise to make investments (plural) on Tom Kim in 2023.

For those of you tinkering with the idea of a "win wager" or two on this week's Sony Open, here are some guys worth considering: Sungjae Im (+1200), Hideki Matsuyama (+2000), Cam Davis (+3300) and K.H. Lee (+3500).

But don't play those four and leave Kim off your wagering slip. Make sure you bet Tom Kim this week. And in the next tournament he plays. And the one after that. And so on.


We'll bury the Lamar Jackson update down here somewhere since, I'm guessing, you're kind of tired of hearing (reading) about the ailing Baltimore quarterback.

It's not yet a done deal, but unless Jackson practices today, it's looking like he will not be ready to go this Sunday night in Cincinnati.

If he practices today and tomorrow, maybe, just maybe, he'd be halfway-healthy-enough to tee it up on Sunday night. But if he's not out there today, there's almost no chance he could practice on Friday, travel on Saturday, and play 60 minutes of football on Sunday.

Yesterday was important. It was the first "official" practice of the week and Jackson was nowhere to be seen. Reports from respected NFL media members ranged from phrases like "uphill battle" to "the swelling hasn't gone down in his knee". Every report on Wednesday was a bummer.

Lamar Jackson didn't practice on Wednesday as he continues to struggle with a knee injury sustained on December 4.

But if yesterday was important for Lamar, today is "critical". He has to practice today, basically. If he doesn't, it's going to be either Tyler Huntley or Anthony Brown Jr. on Sunday night. And Huntley is still bothered by a sore shoulder that limited him in Wednesday's practice. So there's that.

The most disconcerting story to percolate out of Owings Mills on Wednesday was the one that indicated the swelling in Lamar's injured knee hasn't gone down.

I'm not a knee specialist or anything close to it. But I have enough familiarity with knee injuries through my days in the soccer business to know that an injured knee with swelling that hasn't diminished over a 5-week period (and with treatment on it, remember) is a weird occurrence indeed.

It doesn't seem impossible that Jackson's swollen knee hasn't improved at all over the last month. But it sure seems weird that it hasn't improved...if, in fact, that report from Wednesday is accurate.

This whole saga has become even more complicated by the fact that the Ravens don't want to provide any "real" information on Jackson's health because of the competitive advantage/disadvantage they maintain by keeping their lips sealed.

Had the club just said six weeks ago, "Lamar's done for the year", we wouldn't even be writing this here today. But saying that publicly would have given their opponents vital information.

On the flip side, Jackson hasn't been immobile over the last six weeks. He's been seen on the sidelines and such, walking around, talking to teammates, etc. He's not on crutches. He doesn't even appear to be all that limited in terms of his gait.

That's not to suggest he didn't or doesn't have a knee injury or anything like that. I bring that up to merely point out that, to the naked eye, Jackson just looks like a guy not suited up for game. Whatever is ailing him isn't debilitating. But it's clearly enough to keep him from playing.

The question moving forward, I'm thinking, is simple: Will the Ravens just press forward in the off-season and act like nothing was out of the ordinary in December (assuming he doesn't play this Sunday or again in the 2022-2023 campaign) or could this episode and the puzzling nature of it create tension between the Ravens and Lamar?

I have to think the Ravens are going to be very disappointed if Jackson isn't out there this Sunday. What was initially believed to be a 1-3 week "garden variety" PCL strain has turned into something far, far more impactful. If Lamar doesn't play this Sunday night, then the December 4th hit he took and the ensuing knee injury turned out to be "season ending".

I don't think anyone associated with the Ravens thought Lamar was "done for the year" on the morning of December 5th when he came in for treatment and further evaluation on his knee.

Alas, here they are, facing a playoff game on Sunday night without their best quarterback. The Ravens didn't expect this. And maybe Lamar didn't either. But the club, for sure, assumed he'd return in a few weeks and be ready to go by January 1st, at the latest.

If Lamar doesn't play on Sunday, the pieces that fall into place thereafter might not sit well with Ravens fans.

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#dmd comments








larry     February 03
Duke coach is making a stink and blaming "the world" for that mix up?? If the players didn't notice after one or two possessions, well not sure what to say there. That Duke team must stink if it took 20 minutes of play to realize they had the wrong ball.

hank     February 03
Hard to decide who is the bigger curmudgeon these days, @MFC or @UTB. @UTB, we are from the same generation, and I used to b*tch and moan about a lot of the stuff that you do as well, then finally decided WTH am I doing? We are on the back 9 brother, find things that you enjoy, that make you happy, and focus on those things. Leave all the bellyaching to the young twitter dopes who think they know everything! None of them know even 20% of what us old farts know. God bless brother!

Unitastoberry     February 03
Thanks CIK. Forgot about sleeve ball Al Davis. Perhaps it's time for a MLB owner to challenge the league on franchise relocation? Maybe Fredo is working with Hyman Roth on that? Lol

Ken     February 03
Five predictions from Drew's lead article today.



1. Ravens sign Lamar to 3 year $140 million deal that's all guaranteed.

2. Canales of Seattle is the new O.C.

3. Caps make playoffs lose in first round to Carolina.

4. Tiger wins a tournament this year but not a major and then retires.

5. Terps are a 4 seed in NCAA tourney and lose in 2nd round.

Joe     February 03
The Wizards are wildly inconsistent this year, going 3-14 during one stretch along with a 4, a 5, and a 6 game winning streak. They are a better team than last year, as Kristaps Porzingis has been relatively injury free and Bradley Beal has actually started distributing the basketball. Kyle Kuzma is a legit scorer, but also a pending free agent so he could possibly be traded by next week's deadline. They did trade Rui Hachimura two weeks ago to the Lakers, who was a solid player but literally doesn't pass the ball, averaging less than an assist per game in over 20 minutes a game (which is hard to do).



I have been a fan since the Baltimore Bullet days, and miss the success of Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes ...

CIK     February 03
@David R

The fact that nobody could immediately feel the difference in the ball is puzzling. My guess is they were using the correct ball. As soon as you play with a women’s ball, you realize it’s much easier to handle and shoot.

CIK     February 03
@U2B

I am sure the NFL has the same language in the owners contracts. The problem is that Al Davis challenged that and beat the NFL in court. So there is precedent to move and not have to get “approval”.

David Rosenfeld     February 03
Wanted to comment about the first thing in the Breakfast Bytes. The Duke coach says that "this would never happen in a men's game." I've actually seen it happen, the teams realized after a minute that they were using a women's ball, and the ball was switched. She said cryptically that "you can figure out who the people are" that failed in this situation. Can you? It could have been a variety of things...like, there is an entire rack of balls for warmups, were they all women's balls and did this get put into the rack by accident? The person who brings the rack out onto the court might be a 19-year-old team manager or a random facilities person. I've never seen a game where the refs don't check the ball before the game. They didn't notice? Seems a bit odd, and something to kind of laugh about in retrospect instead of making a federal case about.

TimD in Timonium     February 03
Regular updates & news about The Wiz? Yawn. Pass.



I'm not an NBA guy, but I have been watching LeBron play lately. Averaging 30 a night and is a week away from becoming the all-time NBA scoring leader. Amazing.



Orioles. Caps. College lax. (Almost) March Madness. Plenty of good stuff to see / talk about.




MFC     February 03
Dog days, you could be a Tar Heel fan and watch the #1 ranked team (first week) fall out of the top 25 and "may" not get an NCAA bid. The NIL "sponsors" want their money back. Not to worry as Bacot rides around Chapel Hill in his Carolina Blue Audi Q8. Also, an interesting article in the NY Times about the NIL and how it's siphoning off $$$ that used to go directly into the general funds of athletic programs. And how about Alabama football where a d-back wanted $800,000 to play there and Nick said, "this may not be the right school for you".But his QB got a million, it pays to be an offensive player, especially QB.



Lady Terps got beat in IOWA last night as this kid Clark goes off for 42, she is a player. Game ended after 11, how are those 9 AM classes going today?



I'm so sick and tired of these basketball officials going to the replay for everything. Dragging the games down. I know it's important to get the call right but it's really getting out of hand.

Unitastoberry     February 03
So NFL teams can move whenever and MLB teams have to get the other owners approval. That's interesting. What's also interesting is that most MLB owners hate Angelos because he backed a union work stoppage but he's not anything about paying players top money since the Albert Belle fiasco. He's a hypocrite. They ruined baseball for me and others in my age group during the prime of my life in Baltimore. This nucleus of draft picks now will end up like the mid 90s and mid 2010s nucleus. Sold off unless there's a new owner.

Karl     February 03
Cleveland has 3 teams, Philly , Washington, but yet this town barely can sustain NFL and MLB and complain that UMD doesnt market here….bottom 5 in attendance for MLB- a wonder why any business owner would not move to Nashville- and NFL didnt want to be here….if attendance to games falter ….will their reasoning be true….at least we have the Ironbirds and Ferrous!

lou@palo alto     February 02
Ah, Steve--# 32 Browns, 19 Colts-livin the dream!!!

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Comparing players from different eras is not feasible .Jim Brown from the 1960s is considered by many to be the greatest running back of all time,; however he never faced linebackers with 4.5 speed .His cutback style against the grain like they did in those days doesn't fly in today's game

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
@U2B- I was 6 when Johnny U took his last snap on 33rd street so I never got to see him play. I would have liked to. But you and @Lou are correct, it is apples to peaches when comparing the Brady football era with the Johnny U football era. What I don't think can be argued very far is the statement, they both reigned as best of their time.

MFC     February 02
Bob S, I think "the Stallion" passed away, "bingo baby". Loved his spots on local tv in OC. He was the best. (If he passed, which I think he did, hope I'm wrong)



SUCH, I think there's a lot of "free" money around. Given the gambling and the future cannabis revenue. That's why no taxes raised in state of state speech. I think that's where the piggy bank is. I'm fine on the expenditure if it keeps the O's in town.

Such     February 02
I'm beginning to have serious doubts about this Angelos fella who has taken unilateral control of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball Club.

I'm not an English professor, so I had to look up "paradigm", which it turns out is defined as "a typical example or pattern of something; a model". I also had to re-read his quote a few times to try and deconstruct all of the PR farm byproduct contained therein.

I'm not entirely sure how a guy who has been Governor of the state for less than a month has "the vision and commitment" to revitalize Downtown Baltimore by pumping a half a billion dollars into a baseball park, but I'm fairly certain I could do a lot of good with that kind of public money too. Call me a cynic while you get off my lawn.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't get the warm and fuzzies from Angelos fils. He strikes me as entitled and condescending. At least his old man was a civic benefactor who actually spent his time in the city. This guy will be laughing all the way to the bank in Nashville with his loot.

The sooner the organization is sold, the better. I realize what that's contingent upon, and I'm not rooting for it, but it will be a better day for this team and its fans when a new ownership group is running things.

Unitastoberry     February 02
Unitas played in 5 title games. He lost 2 won 3. In SB 3 he was about 55% came off the bench(Throwing arm elbow Tendonitis) for Morrall halfway in the 3rd quarter moved the team and threw an interception in the end zone. His 40239 passing yards from 1955-1973 is equivelent to 80000-90000 today. 3 time MVP. I never liked Brady until he got old. He was a stud stat wise and championship wise. Yes he did benefit from numerous rule changes, longer seasons,better surgical techniques, year round training, and huge mega million dollar deals. Unitas has none of that. After his torn up and civil war style knee surgery he started to go south along with a torn achilles, and nagging tendonitits and no doubt arthritis. The man was beaten to a pulp. But I have to say those 7 rings Brady has along with the stats and MVPs makes him the goat. But hear this youngsters. Unitas is still the best pro QB Baltimore has ever had and his last snap on 33rd street was in 1972. Half a century ago.

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
Because he played on the Patriots, anytime they played the Ravens I wanted to see Brady getting up after each play looking through his ear hole. But at the tail of his career there and especially with TB, I came to appreciate his level of performance. It may not be in the category of Cal's consecutive game streak and or Cy Young's 511 wins but it's quite remarkable what he's done and I just don't see another QB winning 7 SBs and also breaking his records for passing yards and TD passes.

Speaking of Super Bowl? I'm sure you all heard of the ticket prices to attend this year. I really enjoy attending a couple Ravens games per year and obviously root hard for them to win but there is no way I'm ever paying that type of money for a ticket... plus airfare, hotel, food, drinks. For a football game? No chance. Well, unless I win the mega-millions. Like I said, no chance.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     February 02
Drew, it's great to see you bringing Bobby Vermillion and "Endless Golf" on at DMD!

Now all you need to do is get Bobby's old partner "The Stallion" on board for his gambling picks!

lou@palo alto     February 02
there is no comparing the modern QB position to Johnny U: can't hit the QB or receiver, OL w different rules, 12 games per yr & call your own plays, too many teams--fyi

larry     February 02
A for profit business being all about the money, say it ain't so! Why in the world would the Orioles, or the Ravens, want only to be "a good citizen"? Newsflash, they are business entities, NOT citizens!

@MFC is correct too. The city needs to revitalize inner harbor back into the crown jewel it used to be, and with Port Covington development, the whole downtown area, including Canton, Fells Point, Fed Hill, etc could generate an insane amount of economic activity. But, you have to make the city safe. At least that part of the city.

Is this mayor up for that? He wants to remember his roots and all, but part of making the city safe is doing things his political party likes to be "outraged" about. Do they have the stones to crack down on things past administrations seemingly turned a blind eye to? And face the wrath of the "outrage for profit" crowd? I sure hope so, cause Baltimore could certainly use an economic revitalization and all the jobs that comes with. What better way to help your impoverished citizens?

Delray Rick     February 02
BRADY the BABE RUTH of football

Jason M     February 02
Brady was the best I ever got to watch, and like #52, I feel privileged that we got to watch one of the all time greats do his thing. I used to hate him for being such a Raven Killer, but hell after awhile you need to give credit where credit is due, and I have probably spent the last decade of his career as an admirer. The stats on his durability are a great and not often cited insight - no missed games for injury since 2008 - Brady is Iron Man.



I think you'll see big crowds at Fan Fest this weekend. I am bullish on the future of the city, 3 James Beard nominated restaurants, Broadway productions at the Hippo, MLB at the Yard and NFL across the way. You're not getting that in Westminster, Columbia or Frederick, as safe as those places are.

MFC     February 02
We have a complex 2 blocks away called the inner harbor, which is supposed to have a major makeover. Port Covington is advancing rapidly, lets take advantage of that. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area. What we need is a safe city. Let's solve that. No squeegee "kids", lots of police presence to feel safe walking the city. People will go downtown if they feel safe.

And let's get the players to be involved in the city. A major outreach program would do miracles and not just with the Oriole Bird.

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Call me cynical but this new Camden Yard complex will be finished when the rebuilt Pimlico Race Course is completed.

Our refurbished downtown arena is going to still be an outdated facility.

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 02
Im surprised idiots online continue to fall for the Os moving nonsense. The Sun perfectly outlined why it behooves the Os not to sign a 5 yr lease causing unfavorable provisions to roll over, plus the 600 mil coming their way let alone the 3 or 4 billion sale price in 2 or 3 years or the fact that MLB has blocked SF, Oak, TB and everybody else thats tried to move without permission the last 70 years. Os are proving the old saying youll never go broke betting on the American public's gullibility.

Vince     February 01
Brady done?....

Or is his movie tanking and this is a ploy to get folks in the theater?

Stats Nerd     February 01
@Howard everything I have heard seems to indicate Exclusive. The consensus seems to be that he is worth more than simply the 2 1sts that non-exclusive carries with it. Of course they could use non-exclusive and still trade him for more than the 2 firsts but it's maybe not as clean

Howard     February 01
Which franchise tag for Lamar? I would favor the non-exclusive tag. If he signs a reasonable contract with another team the Ravens can match it. If the Ravens do not want to match it, they get number one picks in 2023 and 2024. Most importantly, if no one offers him, his 2023 salary is $32 million rather than $45 million, meaning that EDC would not have to blow up the team in order to get under the cap

David Rosenfeld     February 01
Dale as you said the home/road FT disparity is hardly new. Nor is the fact that teams play better at home. I just think some of the stretches the team has had on the road have been horrendous. By the time it's 21-4 or 17-4 or 25-11 or whatever, it's hard to even take the stats for the rest of the game seriously.

I think you hit the nail on the head about last night. Seems silly to say 18 pts and 20 rebounds is making it hard on a guy but it really was...it's a team game that requires a lot more than one guy to win.

hal     February 01
What exactly does "open their books" even mean? So many fans just parrot the media in that regard, what specific financial data do people want to see. More importantly, how much true financial data would a fan or media member even understand?

Ala the BP lunatic, people think they will easily see "that crooked family made two billion $ over the last 10 years" and then pretend "they coulda bought baseball players with that money". These are the same people who say Bisciotti "made" $3B because he paid 750K for Ravens and they could be sold for $4B now.

As for moving, if the O's don't sign a long term lease and eventually move, we need to hold Mayor Scott and Gov Moore accountable. John A claims these two as "personal friends", so how can a lease extension not already be done? I am aware Irsay flat out lied to Schaefer years ago, but Billy Don never claimed that drunken stooge was a personal friend of his, this would be way worse than what happened in 1984. Media should stop chasing Angelos and start chasing B Scott.

Such     February 01
Of more interest than "opening the books" (HaHaHa!) is whether John Angelos signs the one-year lease extension by the end of today. That will be the best indicator of his intentions about the future of the Orioles in Baltimore. His reluctance to do so has me thinking that the Nashville rumors might have some fire and not just smoke.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I can see a scenario where the Orioles go to Nashville and the Oakland A's move here. When billionaires are involved, anything is possible.

Jason M     February 01
They should have a special accounting area set up at fan fest where the P&L can be viewed and audited. They could have the fans get interactive and track how much of their cash made it to the teams bottom line. Talk about interactive and fun for the whole family!

lou@palo alto     February 01
yes, spy is better having played both many times. will be at pebble tho this sat, walking around the turn where u can see holes 8-13--by far the best walking holes for fans

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Youre right Larry. Im only right when i bet the opposite of what Dale predicts. Im not a hater im a thanker!!

CIK     February 01
Dale provides excellent coverage of Terps basketball. His coverage and analysis is thorough and thoughtful. But to say he is hitting 80% winners is preposterous. Just because you write a nice blog doesn’t mean you are “sharp” when picking games.

MFC     February 01
Agree 100% on the Spyglass take, a much better and significantly harder course.



Picking basketball scores might be the hardest of all there are so many variables. Dales does a great job with his reporting and insight how about just enjoying that. If you're placing bets based on his projections the fault lies with you, not him.



TB 12 ruined his marriage for that season?

Josh     February 01
Tom Brady “retiring…for good”. Sure, we’ll see about that

Frank D     February 01
Sooooo - now we can sign Tom Brady for one year and win us another SB??????

Unitastoberry     February 01
As for Angelo's LLC aka Oriole's books. A bird told flew in the window at the warehouse and reported that despite virtually paying nobody but Chris Davis since 1997 they have made a billion plus and paid very little in taxes. The bird was then eaten by a hungry hawk. No further details are available. Remember feed your feathered friends in the cold weather months.

Larry     February 01
Eric in Gaithersburg has never been wrong. Don't you guys all know that?

Creston     February 01
I have followed Dale Williams since he started writing here and I'd put his hoops knowledge up against any of you clowns who criticize him for his predictions.

He probably gets 80% of the games/outcomes right but you clowns only worry about the 20%. Go back to your moms basement clowns and let the basketball guy handle the basketball analysis. Great job Dale!

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Dale wrong as usual! He should do a radio show with Cowherd and Francesa. Backaftathis twitter account would commit suicide from over work. Meanwhile the lame played out Michael Jordan twitter memes from "Turgeon" have oddly disappeared. Never understood that lame flex- look at the new guy failing to dig out the mess i left him? Willard not only deserves coach of the year he also currently 18th ranked recruiting class. Brighter days finally here

Delray RICK     February 01
Read on internet bout KELCE Brothers from their mom when they grew up. HILARIOUS!!

Kevin     January 31
Another spot on prediction by #Dale.

Jk     January 31
Drew......back on the radio. He just announced on Twitter. Welcome back Drew.

hal     January 31
SOD loyalists "RC" and "Geno" must have missed the part where DMD also stated quite clearly that MSJ most certainly did NOT "run up the score" vs CHC. MFC might be being kind saying those guys need a session or two of RC 101, they might need new eyeglasses!

TimD in Timonium     January 31
@Hank, you are correct, sir. LB Roquan Smith has no agent. I thought I'd read he did have one last August, but I'm mistaken. No agent. Got the deal done.

Bobby     January 31
@CIK maybe you should have just stopped at.....



" Nobody knows because Lamar doesn’t put much out there."

Wednesday
January 11, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3061


one down, one to go


If only Lamar Jackson had the same amenable personality as Roquan Smith, huh?

I know that's the first thing I thought of yesterday when news broke that the Ravens were able to persuade Smith to sign a $100 million, 5-year extension before he even dipped his toes in Lake Free Agent.

I have no idea what value other teams put on Smith, but as Ozzie Newsome would always say every February when the topic of losing a key player to free agency was brought up in his presence: "It only takes one team."

Ravens GM Eric DeCosta traded for Roquan Smith earlier this season and yesterday signed him to a new 5-year contract.

Some team, desperate for a defensive world beater like Roquan Smith, would have coughed up more than $100 million this February. But maybe that's one of the values of representing yourself and not having an agent breathing down your neck 24/7 about "taking the best deal". Without an agent, you do what's best for you and what feels like the best fit.

You just know, if Smith would have retained an agent, that he/she would have told the linebacker yesterday, "This is a really dumb decision on your part. We can get $120 or $130 million from someone in February, especially if the Ravens go on some kind of playoff run where you guys beat Cincinnati and Kansas City."

Without an agent, you just say, "Eh, a hundred million is good enough for me. Where do I sign?"

So the Ravens got one of their two coveted free agents, although it's fair to point out that Lamar isn't really a free agent. The Ravens can actually keep him around for two more years if they want, but to the tune of about $100 million.

Better to say, "The Ravens signed one of their two most valuable players yesterday." That puts a bow on it nicely, right?

I also think there's an argument that signing Roquan for $100 million is infinitely better than giving Lamar $250 million or more. But it's not my money.


It's here where I'll repeat what I always say when someone at a party or on the golf course asks me what I think about the Ravens re-signing Lamar.

I think they should re-sign him. But in no way would I offer him a fully guaranteed contract in the same way I wouldn't offer any other player in the organization a fully guaranteed contract. "It's just not something we do...sorry."

And I'll keep going back to this point, one that I've made countless times over the last 12 months.

Is the 2023 version of Lamar better than the 2019 Lamar? He played all the games back then.

In 2020 he missed games with an illness and Covid-related problems.

In 2021 he missed the last five games and the Ravens lost them all, falling from 8-3 to 8-9 and missing the playoffs after essentially having a spot locked up on Halloween.

And then this year, of course, he bowed out of the first quarter of the Denver game on December 4 and hasn't been seen since.

Injuries happen. I know that and understand it.

But you're talking about forking over $250 million or more to someone who hasn't exactly been the most reliable guy when it comes to actually being available for the games.

When Jackson plays, he's awesome.

Key word in that sentence above? "When".

But maybe this Roquan Smith signing will motivate Lamar in a weird kind of way.

"Oh, they're locking up one of the best defensive players in football for the next five years? Damn, that's cool. We might actually win that Super Bowl I promised to Baltimore back when the Ravens drafted me in April of 2018."

Maybe Lamar will realize all of the pressure might not be on him now that Roquan's in the fold. As it stands right now, the defense has four stellar players; Smith, Marcus Williams, Marlon Humphrey and -- seemingly boosted by the addition of Smith -- Patrick Queen.

Toss in run-stopper Broderick Washington and the continued development of #1 pick Kyle Hamilton and you have 6 of 11 defensive starters either in the "stellar" category or close to it.

If Jackson's thinking clearly, he'll realize he won't have to generate 24 to 28 points per-game next year in order for the Ravens to win. With their defensive quality right now, along with an off-season free agent or two, the offense might be able to put up 20 per-game next season and win 13 of 17.


But the guess at this point is that Lamar's digging in and the Ravens are digging in and neither is going to budge.

Jackson's under incredible pressure from the NFLPA to be the 2nd QB within a year to snag a fully guaranteed contract and the Ravens are under the same pressure to not be the 2nd team in the league dumb enough to fully guarantee a player's salary in a multi-year deal.

Whether the Ravens are ready to stand their ground and potentially be faced with a disgruntled quarterback that they have to eventually part company with is the "chess" part of the whole thing. It's complicated. And risky.

Are you really ready to start over at quarterback and basically overhaul your offense and scheme because you can't afford your signal caller?

Then again, if the plan is to send Greg Roman packing at the end of the season, maybe now isn't such a bad time to stand your ground. If you can re-sign Lamar, great. If not, as Mike Damone said in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, your toes are still tappin'.

This dilemma isn't about "need" or "want". The Ravens need Lamar and they want Lamar. But this is a massively important decision in their organization's history.

It's one thing to give him $200 million for four years with $130 million of guaranteed. It's another thing, entirely, to give him $250 million for 5 years with all of those years and monies guaranteed.

Had Jackson not missed a dozen games (roughly) in the last two years, I have to assume the deal might have already been done. But with each passing game he fails to play due to injury, more doubt creeps in. "What if we give this guy $250 million and he's a shell of himself physically by 2025?"

But, Lamar's gone too far now to back down. And the Ravens, I'm assuming, haven't seen enough out of Lamar to buckle on their decision to not fully guarantee his deal.

But maybe, just maybe, Roquan's benevolence will rub off on Lamar and the Ravens can get their best offensive player and their best defensive play in the fold for at least the next five years.

If nothing else, though...they got one of the two for sure.

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odds and ends


I’ll be honest. I turned off Sunday’s game versus Cincinnati and moved over the RedZone. I jumped back over with about 7 mins left but honestly wasn’t really very in tune. But a few things I’ve been thinking about over the last several games.


Ben Powers

Powers is probably the most improved player on the team this season. The 2019 4th rounder likely earned himself a healthy contract as he is scheduled to test free agency this off season. The consensus seems to be that he will make a lot of money somewhere but likely not in Charm City.

After winning what was perceived to be an open competition in training camp, Powers played every snap for the Ravens this season. He was also PFFs highest graded guard in pass blocks. He was a solid, if unspectacular player in 2021 but he was a beast this season.

Quenton Nelson of the Colts is the highest paid guard in the league at $20MM annually. The buzz seems to be that Powers will get a lot though probably not quite that much. That will be a big hole the Ravens will have to fill this offseason.


1st Round Rookies

After struggling out of the gate this season, Kyle Hamilton has been an integral cog in the Ravens defensive resurgence in the latter half of the season. He is amongst the highest PFF rated safeties in the league in various categories.

Judging any rookies or young players too early is a risky proposition but Hamilton looks the part of a versatile, rangy safety that can be moved all over the field. It’s easy to forget that he was often considered a top 2 or 3 talent in last April’s draft.

Probably one of the best compliments I can tag on the other first rounder, Tyler Lindebaum, is that he often went unnoticed. He seemed to slide right in lock down the position.

All the wild off target snaps from the last 2 seasons were severely curtailed and my goodness when he got in space he was a great run blocker in particular. There were several games where he was opening up massive holes and extending blocks several yards downfield. He was advertised as a plug and play rookie Center and he lived up to that tag.


Later Round Draft Picks

I may do a year 1 breakdown on these guys but I think calling them a mixed bag is fair.

The hype surrounding Isiah Likely preseason was probably unfair. An unbiased look at his statistics of 36 receptions, 373 yards and 3 TDs would call that pretty good production from a 4th rounder. Add to that the QB issues this year I think the kid has a bright future.

Another player that maybe had too much preseason hype was Travis Jones. The 3rd rounder out of UConn was a pre-season darling but with the emergence of Justin Madibuike and the entire defensive line limited Jones to roughly 1/3 of the Ravens snaps this season. He looks like a solid top of the rotation player for the Ravens moving forward.

The rest of the draft class seems like a group of incompletes (Ojabo, Kolar) to early disappointments (Armour-Davis, Stout) and an interesting prospect in Faalele. The idea that ALL of these guys would pan out was completely unrealistic. If this class yields 2 or 3 long term starters along with a few depth players that would be an absolute win in my book.


Roquan Smith

(Note this was written well in advance of Tuesday’s extension agreement…I think it’s a really high end signing)

This is a really interesting off season question mark for the team. I think most fans love the effort and skill that he plays the game with but he may want to see what’s out there in free agency. I would guess, just purely based on history, that if he reaches free agency he will land elsewhere.

What I think is interesting is that the Ravens traded a 2nd and a 5th for Smith. However, if he walks via free agency they would get a compensatory pick, likely a 2024 3rd. In addition, Chicago ate most of Smith’s salary while he was playing for the Raven’s.

In a tight cap environment, this was invaluable. If having him here allows the Ravens to ink him long term, the trade is a massive win.


WR Trades at Trade Deadline

There was a lot of bellyaching about the Ravens not grabbing a WR at the trade deadline in late October. In fact, there were 3 WR traded at the deadline and NONE had a significant impact. Kadarius Toney was the biggest success with 14 catches for 171 yards and 3 total TDs in Kansas City. And that’s with Patrick Mahomes throwing him the ball.

Robbie Anderson caught 7 balls for 66 yards after landing in Arizona and Chase Claypool caught 14 passes for 140 yards in Chicago. The incredible thing about Claypool is that the Bears traded a 2nd round pick for Claypool! Boy that trade looks like a stinker.

I know all Raven fans want to see better receivers in Purple and Black. But making moves just for the sake of making moves ain’t the answer. They are going to have to draft a player early this year and try and land a veteran via a trade or signing.

Deandre Hopkins looks to likely be available from Arizona but that may be a pipe dream. Allen Lazard or Jakobi Meyers are a couple of names that look interesting as potential free agents.

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have you been to the palestra?


I've done this particular trip once a year for the last four or five years, I think.

Have you been to The Palestra in Philadelphia? If not, join #DMD for one-day trip on February 4.

And once again, I'm putting together a trip to The Palestra in Philadelphia to check out perhaps the best college basketball venue in the country. It's Saturday, February 4. Pennsylvania plays Cornell at 6 pm.

And we have courtside seats.

If you've never been to The Palestra and you like college basketball, this is a must-do trip. I'm taking my Calvert Hall Golf team on the trip on February 4. I want them to experience The Palestra and see the history for themselves.

Here's the good news, potentially, for you: We have about 15 seats available on the bus if you're interested in going to Philly with us.

We'll depart Calvert Hall on the 4th at 2:00 pm. We get up to Philadelphia around 3:45 pm and then head out for cheesesteaks at one of the various restaurants/shops near UPenn.

Did I mention we have courtside seats?

I suggest taking a good 35-40 minutes to walk around the concourse before the game and check out all of the pictures, trophies and memorabilila from the great players who have suited up at The Palestra. It's a high school and college basketball museum, with a good basketball game included!

Your $70.00 per-person cost includes the game ticket, motor coach ride to Philly, snacks and drinks on the bus and driver gratuity.

If you're interested in one of the final seats we have available, please e-mail me: 18inarow@gmail.com

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Tuesday
January 10, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3060


five points about the regular season


The Ravens finished 10-7 in the 2022 regular season, which turned out to be good enough to secure a playoff spot in the AFC (with two weeks left, mind you) but was far below the expected standard most people thought they would meet.

If it's true "you are what your record says you are", then 10-7 is what the Ravens are. But truthfully, they lost four they wouldn't normally lose (home vs. Miami and Buffalo, at NY GIants and at Jacksonville) and probably won two they didn't deserve to win (at Tampa Bay, home vs. Denver).

They were, in my opinion, much closer to a 12-5 team than an 8-9 team. The loss of the starting quarterback for the last five games was the biggest issue they encountered, obviously. With Lamar healthy and in the lineup they were rolling along nicely, albeit with some occasional offensive struggles. Without him, their offense was abysmal.

But now that we've cleared the regular season hurdle and we're on to the playoffs, let's look at five significant points from the 2022 campaign. Your comments and insights are welcome below.

These are in no particular order of importance.

Kyle Hamilton turned out to be a solid 1st round pick -- You'll always get people who point to other players and say "We could have taken "that guy" but we took Hamilton instead." And that's true, of course. The Ravens could have selected George Pickens, for example.

But there's no guarantee whatsoever that Pickens would have been the same player in Baltimore as he was in Pittsburgh in his rookie season. No guarantee at all. You never know what a player is going to do in your organization or your system.

What we do know, though, is Kyle Hamilton turned in an excellent rookie season. He finished the campaign ranked as the NFL's 8th best safety with a grade of 82.3 by the folks at Pro Football Focus. Among safeties, he was 8th in run defense, 5th in pass rush efficiency and 18th in pass coverage.

Hamilton was the NFL's top rated safety for his week 18 performance in Cincinnati according to PFF.

Eric DeCosta has been slapped around by the fan base this season for the team's lack of wide receivers but the Notre Dame product looks unquestionably like a good one.


Lamar's December absence puts him in a bind -- I think most sane people who follow the Ravens will agree the team would be wise to re-sign Lamar Jackson. The debate, mainly, is about money and the guaranteed portion of the deal.

There are some in town who just blindly say "Pay the man, guarantee it all, he's earned it, and he's the key to the Ravens winning" and others who say, "Sign him, yes, but only at the right price and only if the deal doesn't hamstring the club from making other improvements or signing key free agents in the future."

But there's one thing most people aren't talking about right now that is very important. Lamar has basically missed the month of December in each of the last two seasons.

If you think that should just be ignored, you're crazy. It can't be ignored.

I'm not here to suggest Jackson is "injury prone", but the game-by-game log tells the story. He missed December last season and the Ravens flatlined and failed to make the playoffs. He missed December (and early January) this season and the Ravens were able to scrape together enough points to win games, but it was mainly on the defense to provide the winning margin.

Can you give a quarterback $250 million or more who hasn't played in December the last two years? I'm not sure.

I know all of the tentacles of the argument, trust me: "The receivers are terrible", "the offensive coordinator is a joke", "Lamar wants to get paid", "why risk injury once the playoff spot was sealed?", and so on.

Well, if you think the receivers are terrible now, wait until they have to pony up $45 or $50 million a year for the quarterback. He'll be throwing to Rashod Bateman, a 2023 4th round pick out of Bowling Green and some combination of Mecole Hardman, D.J. Chark and Kenny Golladay for the next few years.

Let's just hope they sign Lamar and he's throwing to those receivers or better ones.......in December.


How did the Ravens win 10 games with those receivers? -- Demarcus Robinson was the team's best receiver in 2022. Yes, Demarcus Robinson, who wasn't even good enough to stick with the Chiefs as their 4th or 5th receiver. He came to Baltimore and turned out to be the #1 guy. Now, some of that was because of the injury to Rashod Bateman, but Robinson put up some good numbers for a guy who showed up in August just happy to have a job. Other than that, the Baltimore receivers were......if we're being honest......awful.

Duvernay was OK, Proche was lousy, Desean Jackson looked washed and I can't remember if anyone else caught a pass that mattered in 2022.

Oh, wait, Sammy Watkins was dusted off for a few games in December and actually made a couple of big catches in Cincinnati on Sunday.....but he fumbled the ball in Bengals' territory to snuff out a potential scoring drive that would have made it a one score game in the second half. Same old Sammy.

So, yes, somehow, the Ravens still won 10 games. With pretty much no wide receivers. Now, Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely definitely helped. Without those two, there's no telling what might have happened. But winning 10 NFL games with that group of receivers is akin to The Beatles putting out a good album. In other words -- it's a miracle.


What if keeping Roquan meant losing a key veteran or two? -- The salary cap is a complicated animal, obviously. Most teams employ at least one person full-time just to do "cap stuff" and a lot of franchises now have two experts in that department. Balancing the salary cap and figuring out ways to squeeze an extra quality player or two into your 53-man roster is of paramount importance.

With the Lamar situation still floating around and the impending free agency of linebacker Roquan Smith, the Ravens have two critical pieces to retain, along with several other veteran players commanding big bucks through recently signed new contracts or extensions.

We've addressed Lamar already. But how about the other guy...Roquan Smith? The Ravens gave up a 2nd round pick for him in mid-season. And while it's fair to point out they'd likely receive a 3rd round supplemental selection if he leaves via free agency this off-season, the Ravens have definitely seen enough from #18 to know he's a keeper.

But can they re-sign him? It's very unlikely that Smith doesn't at least test the free agent waters in February. He's waited his entire career for this moment, so it's improbable that he'd just take a Baltimore offer without shopping himself around the league.

Other than Smith, the team's four most expensive free agents (based on 2022 AAV) are: Marcus Peters ($14M), Justin Houston ($3.5M), Kyle Fuller ($2.5M), Ja'Wuan James ($2.2M). That's $22.2 million in money you don't have to spend in 2023. All four of those guys can move on and nothing changes, except you'll need four guys to replace them.

Peters has been good in Baltimore, but he's coming off an ACL, he's expensive, and he's not getting any younger. Houston has been very good this season when he's been healthy, but he's in the November of his career at this point, maybe even the first week of December. Fuller was projected to be a starter this year and got hurt in week one and didn't get to play thereafter. He's a Baltimore kid and all, which is nice, but he's expendable. And Ja'Wuan James suffered a season-ending injury early in the campaign and was also no factor.

Give all of their money to Roquan Smith. Figure out a way to keep him in the same way you're determind to figure out a way to keep Lamar.

And if you have to cut someone else of note, like, say, Mark Andrews, in order to keep Lamar and Roquan, you might have to consider a move like that. No one is safe, I'd say. Jackson and Smith need to be retained in a perfect world.

Don't wreck your salary cap to keep them. But try to keep them both.


Roman's gone, but who comes in? -- I've been saying this for five weeks now. Barring a miracle run in the post-season where the offense takes on a new identity, Greg Roman will be looking for a new gig in late January. Some of that is of his own doing, of course, and some of it is not necessarily his fault.

As we referenced above, is it Roman's fault the team's franchise quarterback hasn't played in December the last two years?

But unless something really wacky happens, Roman will be removed as the team's offensive coordinator at the end of this season.

Who takes his place?

That, as I wrote here last week, is the $64,000 question. Everyone around town just blathers on about getting rid of Greg Roman, but they don't have any candidates to replace him.

If you jettison Roman, who is the team's new offensive coordinator?

The streets say the team is grooming either Tee Martin or James Urban to be the next guy in the hot seat. Martin and Urban both have familiarity with Lamar, which is bonus #1. Martin works primarily with the team's wide receivers (insert funny remark here) and Urban is the Ravens' quarterbacks coach.

There will be people around town who, rightfully, wonder why the Ravens would give such an important position to a guy with no experience in said position. And the answer probably lies with Lamar. If he's re-signed or franchise tagged and returns in 2023, having someone coordinate the offense who has been around Lamar is probably not a bad idea.

But...if somehow Jackson's not in Baltimore next season, that might be a prime opportunity to start fresh with a newcomer from outside of the organization.

Who would that be?

I have no idea.

But one thing for certain: Greg Roman needs a miracle. The guess here is a loss this weekend or next weekend and his tenure in Baltimore is over.

And then we can move on to the next offensive coordinator Ravens fans will despise within two or three years.

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have you been to the palestra?


I've done this particular trip once a year for the last four or five years, I think.

Have you been to The Palestra in Philadelphia? If not, join #DMD for one-day trip on February 4.

And once again, I'm putting together a trip to The Palestra in Philadelphia to check out perhaps the best college basketball venue in the country. It's Saturday, February 4. Pennsylvania plays Cornell at 6 pm.

And we have courtside seats.

If you've never been to The Palestra and you like college basketball, this is a must-do trip. I'm taking my Calvert Hall Golf team on the trip on February 4. I want them to experience The Palestra and see the history for themselves.

Here's the good news, potentially, for you: We have about 15 seats available on the bus if you're interested in going to Philly with us.

We'll depart Calvert Hall on the 4th at 2:00 pm. We get up to Philadelphia around 3:45 pm and then head out for cheesesteaks at one of the various restaurants/shops near UPenn.

Did I mention we have courtside seats?

I suggest taking a good 35-40 minutes to walk around the concourse before the game and check out all of the pictures, trophies and memorabilila from the great players who have suited up at The Palestra. It's a high school and college basketball museum, with a good basketball game included!

Your $70.00 per-person cost includes the game ticket, motor coach ride to Philly, snacks and drinks on the bus and driver gratuity.

If you're interested in one of the final seats we have available, please e-mail me: 18inarow@gmail.com

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RANDY MORGAN
on American soccer


Americans are playing more and more of a vital role in international soccer these days, and Randy Morgan has his eyes on all of them for #DMD. Each week here, he looks at recent performances of American players and highlights upcoming games of importance.


weekend soccer recap


After a few weeks of rest and recuperation since the thrilling conclusion to the World Cup, we’re back to keeping tabs on the top soccer action in leagues around Europe.

With the World Cup in the rearview mirror and quite a while until the US men play another meaningful game, we’ll focus on the title races around Europe and the Champions League while still highlighting any standout American performances or news.

This week we’ll take a look at results from the busy holiday period in England as well as the restart of Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A. France and Germany remain on hiatus until later in January.

There have been a few decent American performances, but aside from that there hasn’t been too much American news, unless you like the Real Housewives style drama between the Reyna and Berhalter families.


England –

While most other leagues around Europe remained dormant or slowly started to ramp back up, England dove right back into the deep end with a heavy slate of games throughout the “Festive Fixtures.”

Mikel Arteta and Arsenal remain on top of the English Premier League.

Arsenal returned in top form, looking to prove their place at the top of the Premier League is no fluke. They got wins over West Ham and Brighton, followed by a draw with Newcastle to extend their lead at the top to five points over second place Manchester City. Martin Odegaard burst out of the gates after a long rest during the World Cup, scoring a goal and providing three assists in the three game span.

Manchester City remained in second place with wins over Leeds and Chelsea, but a disappointing draw with Everton allowed Arsenal to extend the gap at the top. Erling Haaland picked up right where he left off, scoring three goals in the first two games back, continuing his historic pace. City also downed Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup over the weekend.

Newcastle continued to prove they are a legit top-four contender, picking up a win over Leicester City after the restart and following that with a draw against Leeds and another impressive draw against leaders Arsenal. The results put them in a tie for third place with Manchester United, nine points back of Arsenal and two clear of fifth place Tottenham.

Manchester United moved into that third place position by picking up three straight wins since the break, over Nottingham Forest, Wolverhampton and Bournemouth. Fresh off the World Cup for England, Marcus Rashford has led the way for United, scoring a goal in each of the three wins. They also downed Everton in the FA Cup 3-1 this weekend with Rashford scoring again from the penalty spot.

Meanwhile, Chelsea has continued to slide down the table, with a draw against Nottingham Forest and a loss to Man City after beating Bournemouth in the first game back. As mentioned above they were also eliminated from the FA Cup by City and suffered injuries to several key players, including Christian Pulisic, who will reportedly be out for several weeks.

The other American-influenced Premier League teams have done well after the restart. Fulham has continued with their surprising play, picking up three more wins over Crystal Palace, Southampton and Leicester City to move up to 7th in the standings, while also defeating Hull City to advance in the FA Cup.

Leeds United came away with two draws and a tough loss to Man City to remain mid-table, with several strong outings from Tyler Adams, who resumed his key role as a defensive stopper in midfield.

One other notable result from the weekend came from the lower league team featured in the recent Hulu documentary. Wrexham scored a huge upset in the FA Cup, beating Championship (2nd division) team Coventry 4-3 to advance to the next round.


Italy –

Serie A returned to action just after the new year with a top of the table clash between first place Napoli and contenders Inter Milan. Inter tightened the title race with a closely contested 1-0 win over Napoli thanks to an Edin Dzeko goal. Though Napoli did regain some ground over the weekend with a 2-0 win over Sampdoria while Inter dropped points with a 2-2 draw against Monza.

Juventus has edged up into a tie for second, extending their winning streak from before the break with 1-0 wins over Cremonese and Udinese. They sit seven points behind Napoli, even with AC Milan, who missed a chance to pull into second alone when they coughed up two late goals to blow a 2-0 lead against Roma on Sunday.


Spain –

La Liga has also had two rounds since returning from the World Cup. Those have seen Barcelona extend their lead at the top of the table. The Catalans only managed a draw against crosstown rivals Espanyol last week, but came away with a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

Young midfielder Pedri led the way with an outstanding effort, setting up Ousmane Dembele for the lone goal with a weaving dribbling run into the box.

They benefited from a Real Madrid loss to Villarreall on Saturday, which dropped them three points behind Barcelona. Real Sociedad and Real Betis round out the top four in Spain, with Atletico Madrid and Villarreal close on their heels in 5th and 6th.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
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Monday
January 9, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3059


"must win" definitely is "can win"


If you're one of those people who thinks the Ravens have no chance of winning next Sunday night in Cincinnati, you're not going to like it around here this week.

Well, at the very least, you won't like my stance on the game. You might be able to commiserate with some other Negative Nicks in the Comments section and predict doom and gloom, but you won't get that from me this week.

With one caveat. And you know what it is.

Can these two pull a rabbit of their hat next Sunday in Cincinnati?

If Lamar Jackson plays against the Bengals, the Ravens can absolutely win next Sunday.

Without him, it's going to be a tough task. Not impossible, mind you, but very tough. But with Jackson on the field, the Ravens can win. There's no doubt about it.

I should make this clear: I'm not putting an extraordinary amount of stock in what we saw yesterday. Yes, the Ravens "B" team hung in there with the Bengals, who were definitely trying to win the game. The Ravens, based on who was suited up and who wasn't, were "hoping" to win the game.

And I know conventional wisdom says the Bengals probably looked at the lineup the Ravens presented at the opening kick-off and took it down a notch. And, yes, both Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins dropped TD passes they'd catch 8 out of 10 times. I get it. It was 27-16, but it was probably more like 35-16 in real time.

Then again, Ravens QB Anthony Brown Jr. had a horrific first half, throwing the ball to the Bengals twice within five minutes and effectively sealing the game for the hosts before halftime.

If not for Brown's mistakes, who knows how the game would have unfolded yesterday?

But, again, let's forget about what we saw in the loss to the Bengals, for we know the league is most certainly "week to week" and rarely, if ever, does last week connect with next week.

Here's what I know: The Ravens defense is legit. It's not the 2000 Ravens or anything quite that imposing, but the Baltimore defense is tough to beat. They'll get Calais Campbell and Marcus Peters back next Sunday and, VOILA!, their defense will be at full strength.

That defense can lead the Ravens to a win in Cincinnati.

Just get Lamar and Dobbins back in there, maybe grab an early lead, and let Roquan and Company do their work.

You'll snicker when I say this, but Justin Tucker and the Baltimore defense can upset the Bengals. A turnover leads to a short field and a Ravens TD. A decent drive of 10 plays, 77 yards leads to another TD. And Tucker nails four field goals. Ravens win 26-20.

You're laughing. But that's the formula. I'm not trying to be dismissive of the offense when I make the Justin Tucker quip, but the reality is two touchdowns from the Baltimore offense is about what you'd expect to get. If they get three next week, they have a GREAT chance of winning.

Two touchdowns and four other (expected) failed red zone trips result in Tucker's 4-for-4 day. And there you have a 26-point ouput, coupled with a late defensive stand that will send Baltimore on to Kansas City, unless Miami does something wacky and wins in Buffalo.

It all depends on Lamar.

You want that $250 million, pal...you have a great chance to earn it next Sunday.

That said, later this week I'll author a piece here warning everyone about attaching Lamar's permanent "stock" on his performance next weekend. He'll enter the game having missed almost six full games and his wide receivers aren't, well, you know, all that good.

But when you're a quarterback with a 1-3 post-season record and you're seeking to become the highest paid guy in the league, going into Cincinnati and beating Joe Burrow in the playoffs would be a huge feather in your negotiating cap.

With Lamar, the Ravens can win next week.

It's far from an automatic win for the Bengals, I'm telling you.

But only if Jackson plays.

The game will be on his shoulders, for sure.

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have you been to the palestra?


I've done this particular trip once a year for the last four or five years, I think.

Have you been to The Palestra in Philadelphia? If not, join #DMD for one-day trip on February 4.

And once again, I'm putting together a trip to The Palestra in Philadelphia to check out perhaps the best college basketball venue in the country. It's Saturday, February 4. Pennsylvania plays Cornell at 6 pm.

And we have courtside seats.

If you've never been to The Palestra and you like college basketball, this is a must-do trip. I'm taking my Calvert Hall Golf team on the trip on February 4. I want them to experience The Palestra and see the history for themselves.

Here's the good news, potentially, for you: We have about 15 seats available on the bus if you're interested in going to Philly with us.

We'll depart Calvert Hall on the 4th at 2:00 pm. We get up to Philadelphia around 3:45 pm and then head out for cheesesteaks at one of the various restaurants/shops near UPenn.

Did I mention we have courtside seats?

I suggest taking a good 35-40 minutes to walk around the concourse before the game and check out all of the pictures, trophies and memorabilila from the great players who have suited up at The Palestra. It's a high school and college basketball museum, with a good basketball game included!

Your $70.00 per-person cost includes the game ticket, motor coach ride to Philly, snacks and drinks on the bus and driver gratuity.

If you're interested in one of the final seats we have available, please e-mail me: 18inarow@gmail.com

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dale williams aims the
terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


terps get much needed win over ohio state


Buoyed by 30 points from Jahmir Young, and 16 for 18 second half foul shooting, the Maryland Terrapins knocked off the Zed Key-less Buckeyes from Ohio State, 80-72, on Sunday.

It was a game changing 14-0 run to open the second half the turned a 39-34 Terrapin deficit into a 48-39 lead.

Maryland would go ahead by as many as 14 points before a Juju Reese technical foul with 9:41 remaining provided an energy boost to OSU. Three times, the Buckeyes would whittle the lead down to three points, but the resilient Terps always had an answer.

Kevin Willard picked up his second home win of the season over a ranked team on Sunday with Maryland's victory over #24 Ohio State.

For the game, Maryland outscored OSU 27-16 from the free throw line, hitting 27 of 33 attempts.

Without their starting center, Zed Key, Ohio State was dominated on the boards by Maryland, 40-26. That included doubling up OSU, 14-7, on the offensive glass and Maryland winning the points in the paint race, 34-22.

Zed’s replacement, Felix Okpara, failed to grab a carom and scored just 2 points in only 12 minutes of play as coach Chis Holtmann decided to play small for much of the game.

There was no shortage of three pointers made, or points scored, in the opening minutes on Sunday.

The two teams combined to go 5 for 5 from long range with OSU knocking down a trio and the Terps connecting on a pair of deep balls. Both teams were shooting 4 for 8 from the field to start the game, but OSU’s extra three-pointer had them ahead 11-10 at the first TV timeout.

With Ohio State’s Okpara on the bench and Eugene Brown III now on the floor, Juju Reese went to work with back-to- back inside moves for four easy points. A floater by Ian Martinez followed by a coast to coast “and one” by Hakim Hart helped propel the Terps to a 19-16 lead at the under 12-minute TV timeout.

Maryland was winning the inside battle, outscoring OSU 8-0 in the paint and they had yet to commit a turnover.

With 7:59 remaining, the Terrapins held a 2-point advantage courtesy of 2 Young foul shots. Maryland would eventually push their lead to as much as 7 points, but 6 turnovers in four minutes and a slew of missed foul shots saw OSU reclaim the lead, 37-34, with 1:05 remaining in the half.

The Buckeyes were also starting to assert their physicality and had made 6 of 10 threes.

The opening half finished with an OSU 16-7 run, as they took a 39-34 lead into the halftime locker room. Reese left the floor with 6:32 left in the half after committing his second foul and the Terps were not the same without him.

OSU trimmed the points-in-the-paint differential to just 2, 10-8. It didn’t help the Terps cause that without the inside threat, the outside shots were challenged and as a result, they hit just 1 of their final 16 shots in the half. Unfortunately for the Terrapins, that’s an all too familiar stat.

The Terps opened the second 20 minutes with two quick buckets inside, both off of OSU turnovers, and started playing with a renewed defensive pressure that forced those two quick OSU turnovers.

When Don Carey hit the second Maryland three pointer of the half, the Terps had run off 12 straight points and led 46-36. OSU had missed all 5 of its shots and turned it over 5 times also. A Buckeye timeout tried to quiet the crowd and stop the run.

The run continued after the first TV timeout. The Terp lead reached 11 before Brice Sensabaugh hit a driving layup to end the Buckeye draught. The teams then traded buckets, and the under 12-minute break came with the Terps still ahead by 11, 56-45.

The second half scoring for Maryland was extremely balanced at this time with 5 players each hitting 2 shots.

After another Reese inside bucket put the Terps up by 14, 60-46, he decided to jaw a little bit and got hit with a technical foul. OSU used that momentum to run off 7 quick points and now the Terps had just a 7-point lead with a little over 8 minutes remaining.

The Terps 5th turnover of the second half resulted in a breakaway layup and now Maryland was back in a dog fight at 60-55. The two teams traded points for a few minutes and with 2:09 left in the game, Hakim Hart hit one of two foul shots to give his Terps a 72-68 advantage.

Some stout Terrapin defense and a baseline pass turnover on the ensuing OSU possession gave the ball back to Maryland. Coach Willard then called a timeout with 1:29 on the game clock, 17 seconds on the shot clock, and his team still up 72-68.

Young again got into the lane for a successful short jumper and the home Terps were up by six with 55.1 left. That bucket gave Young 28 points in the game.

A missed three by Sueing led to foul shots by Don Carey. He hit both ends of the one-and-one, pushing the Terp advantage to 8. An OSU bucket preceded 2 successful foul shots by Donta Scott with 24 seconds left. The score was a comfortable 78-70 with 14 seconds left.

The Buckeyes kept fighting as Sueing hit a leaning three from the left wing giving the visitors a tiny bit of hope. That all ended when Young made 2 more foul shots. And that’s how it ended, 80-73.

The key to this game was two-fold. First, OSU had to play small and the Terps took advantage by out rebounding Ohio State and beating them in the paint.

Second, Young was able to get into the paint at will. With no rim protector inside, he was free to score or draw a foul. Young went to the line 15 times, missing just twice.

Sensabaugh and Sueing scored 22 and 21 points respectively, but the Buckeyes didn’t get much out of the rest of their lineup. That included a disappointing 7 points on 2 for 7 shooting from point guard Bruce Thornton.

Even with the XFINITY Center missing about half of the students and, I’m guessing 30% of the paying fan base, the building still had great energy. The point spread, by game time, (perhaps with the leaking of the updated Zed Key playing status) gravitated back to Maryland being a favorite at -2. The unranked home fav against a ranked road dog hits again.

Maryland now has a week off before traveling to Iowa to face the Hawkeyes.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
Open Again

#DMD GAME DAY
Week 17


Saturday — January 8, 2023
Issue #3058

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

1:00 PM EDT

Paycor Stadium
Cincinnati, OH

Spread: Bengals (-9.0)



win and watch the coin flip


Last April when the NFL released the 2022 schedule, we all assumed this game might very well mean something.

We had no idea it would mean what it means today, though.

That's because we're not actually sure what today means.

The Ravens could win to finish 11-6 on the year, have the same number of wins as the Bengals, and yet still have to play on the road in next week's playoff opener.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals could finish 2nd or 3rd in the AFC playoff race based on today's game vs. Baltimore and Buffalo's home game with New England.

Or, the Ravens could win today and win the much-discussed coin flip with the Bengals and these two teams would meet next weekend in Baltimore.

Oh, and the Ravens could also eventually wind up in Jacksonville next weekend. It all depends on what happens today in Cincinnati.

One other thing we don't know. Who is going to start at quarterback today vs. the Bengals and who will actually garner the most playing time out of the three QB's who are healthy and on the active roster? Tyler Huntley? Anthony Brown Jr.? Brett Hundley?

We do know one thing. Lamar Jackson won't be in uniform today. We also heard on Saturday that a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN that there's a "good chance" Lamar is going to play in next weekend's playoff opener. So there's that.

We posed this question here yesterday and it remains the central story for the Ravens going into today's game.

How much do you risk Tyler Huntley today based on not knowing much about Lamar Jackson's availability next weekend?

Do you run Huntley out there today in hopes you win and then win the coin flip or do you basically throw in the towel on this game, give the ball to Brown or Hundley today, and go with the idea of "whatever happens, happens"?

If the Ravens somehow secretly know that Lamar's going to play next week, maybe that changes things. If that's the case, you tell Huntley to suck it up and play, ailing shoulder be damned. But if the Ravens truly don't know Lamar's status for next weekend, they have to be careful today.

And while I realize most of the folks at the end of the bar think the Ravens have no shot at any kind of playoff success, the team and organization can't and don't think like that. They know, since they do it for a living, that anything can happen next weekend. And the weekend after that, too.

I'd go as far as saying anyone who just presupposes the Ravens are losing next week in their playoff opener -- no matter who they play -- has a loser's mentality that doesn't translate well to sports. But that's just me, offering insight and opinion.

Is it probable that the Ravens are going to catch lightning in a bottle and beat the likes of Cincinnati, Buffalo and Kansas City, perhaps all on the road? Nope. It's not probable.

But it is "possible", in a way it's not possible for, say, the Broncos, Raiders, Browns, Colts and Jets. They'll all be watching from home next weekend. The Ravens will be playing. And that means they have a chance, as slight as it might be.

And speaking of the Bengals and briefly addressing the white elephant in the corner of the room, Zac Taylor and his team have every right to be outraged at the NFL's final decision regarding last Monday's home game vs. the Bills which was ruled a "no contest" earlier this week by the league.

Going into that game, the Bengals still had four possibilities in front of them. They could finish as the 1, 2, 3 or 6 seed in the AFC playoff picture.

In order to get the #1 seed, they needed both Kansas City and Buffalo to lose at least once and they needed to win both of their final two games, one of which was against the Bills.

Their path to the #2 seed was much easier. All they needed to do there was beat the Bills and Ravens and that would have done it, no matter what Buffalo does today in New England.

K.C., of course, won their final two games to finish 14-3. So Cincinnati couldn't snag the #1 seed. Fair enough.

But now they need Buffalo to lose today since Monday's game wasn't concluded. They're no longer in control of their own destiny.

And then we come to the dumbest thing the league has ever done (and that's really saying something). The coin flip possibility if the Ravens win today's game in Cincinnati.

It's so bush league that bush league called the league office and said, "You guys are missing it on this one..."

So let's get this straight. The league rules the Cincinnati-Buffalo game a "no contest" and goes off the winning percentages for those two teams to determine their current standings. With a win today, Buffalo finishes 13-3, but they're the #2 seed because Kansas City (14-3) has a better winning percentage. But wait...didn't Buffalo beat K.C. straight up earlier in the season?

So say Cincinnati loses to the Ravens today to finish 11-5 and the Ravens finish 11-6. The Bengals have a better winning percentage, a fact that mattered in the Kansas City-Buffalo dilemma. But it somehow doesn't matter when it comes to the Bengals and Ravens? And, yes, I understand the Ravens beat the Bengals twice and won more division games.

It just seems awkward that winning percentage matters between K.C. and Buffalo and head-to-head doesn't, but winning percentage between Baltimore and Cincinnati doesn't matter and head-to-head does.

The Bengals have every right to feel like they got the shaft in this whole thing. No two ways about it.

And here's one thing we all know: If the roles were reversed and the Ravens could lose a home playoff game via a coin flip, we'd be spitting nails we'd be so mad in Charm City. You know it, I know it, we all know it.

Anyway, enough about that. The Ravens are in Cincinnati today.

This one, of course, isn't "must win" for the Ravens. Next weekend, in Jacksonville or Cincinnati, will be "must win". That's the one that really matters. The Ravens, I assume, are planning accordingly.

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how drew sees today's game


This one's weird to get a handle on because there's just no telling what the Ravens are going to do at quarterback today.

Either way, though, no matter who gets the start for Baltimore, I don't see the Ravens winning this one.

That said, I don't think they're getting blown out, either.

Let's call it 17-10 Bengals at the half.

Cincinnati makes it 20-10 in the third quarter and the Ravens counter with a field goal of their own in the third quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter, Baltimore gets another field goal to make it 20-16 and the natives are restless in Cincinnati.

But Joe Burrow's outstanding fourth quarter play continues as he finds former Raven tight end Hayden Hurst for a TD to finalize the scoring at 27-16 as the Bengals win and lay claim to next weekend's home game vs. Baltimore in the first round of the post-sesason.

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dale williams aims the
terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his 8th season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2022-2023 season.


terps looking to bounce back today


This past Thursday, while I was battling Salmonella, the Maryland Terrapins were fighting a medical affliction of their own known as “Offensive Anemia”. It’s a disease that they’ve been fighting for a month now.

Today at 1 P.M, the team will see if Kevin Willard has provided a cure when they take on the 10-4 (2-1) and 24th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.

In the Buckeyes, Maryland actually catches a break on one front. After dualling with some powerhouse defenses, OSU checks in as only the 77th ranked “D” in the country. Dealing with that should be a pleasure for Maryland compared to the 1, 3, and 6 defensive rankings with which Maryland has lately had to contend.

Can Jahmir Young and the Terps bounce back at home today vs. #24 Ohio State?

On the down side, OSU holds Kenpom’s top ranking for Adjusted Offensive Proficiency.

How can the Terps expect to stay in this game when statistically they seem overmatched? First, interior stalwart and OSU’s third leading scorer, Zed Key, may miss this game with a shoulder injury. If he can’t go, Felix Okpara will get the extended minutes. While the freshman brings 6’11” off of the bench, he isn’t the scoring threat that Key can be.

Second, the Buckeyes are fresh off of a war with Purdue in which they suffered a tough 2-point loss. They then have to travel to College Park for a 1:00 P.M. game. Again, advantage Terps.

Lastly, while being a physical team throughout the lineup, they are not an overly big team. They can muscle their way into the paint for points and ‘bounds, but their 3 and 4 men are just 6’6”. Now, that’s a really high quality and strong 6’6”, but the Terps have faced bigger teams.

Actually, there’s one more little Terrapin favorable tid-bit, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

In an NCAA hoop environment where so many teams run the same offensive sets, but with different players, OSU offers some flavor. They’ll run more than any team that the Terps have encountered so far this season. They have three guys who will put their heads down and bull their way to the bucket.

Brice Sensabaugh carries 235 pounds on his 6’6” frame and the freshman uses it well. At 16.3 points per game, he leads OSU in scoring and he’s particularly effective shooting pull-ups while moving to his left. You can’t play off of Sensabaugh either, he’s a 45% three-point shooter. That’s a real solid percentage from deep, but it doesn’t even lead his team.

Freshman point guard, Bruce Thornton, lights it up from deep to the tune of 47.5%. His assist to turnover ratio is a respectable 2-1 and he chips in 10 points per game. He’s another one who can bully his way to the bucket on the break. He carries a strong 215 pounds and uses it to create space when going to the bucket or when using his pull up game to make mid-range jumpers.

Justice Sueing is the other 6’6” OSU starter. The 5th year senior who spent a couple of seasons at Cal gets 13.6 points per game but isn’t a major 3-point threat at just 27%. Sueing also plays a tough brand of ball.

Rounding out the starting 5 is Sean McNeil who came to OSU via West Virginia. Steady and heady is how I’d describe the 6’4” senior guard’s game. He’s no one-on-one superstar, but he can hurt you off the dribble if you don’t focus every time he has the ball.

For Maryland to avoid yet another blowout, they must match OSU’s physicality and limit transition buckets. They won’t stop Sensabaugh, but they need to limit Thornton. Of course, If Key is healthy the Terps have another issue defensively. If Key is good to go, pencil him in for 15 points.

So, what’s that last tid-bit? Well, unfortunately, that was a false alarm. When I started writing this piece, the Terps were somehow a single point favorite. The unranked home favorite playing against a top 25 road dog is always a solid play. The numbers get even better when the road dog is a top 10 squad.

When the line for this game opened up, and when I started to write this piece, the line was Maryland -1. It has since quickly changed to have OSU as a 1.5-point fav. Even at that number, Vegas is just begging the short-term investors to take Ohio State. Maybe they know something about Zed Key’s shoulder.

It would not surprise me to see the Terps hang around in this game. Getting back home and shooting with familiar backgrounds just might be the remedy for some of their scoring ills. I hate it when the books entice you to one side, (and they didn’t build those fancy casinos by losing) but I still have to lean towards Ohio State here.

If Key can’t go, then Sensabaugh, Sueing, and Thornton will have free reign to operate and their numbers will go up. I think the physicality, and the speed that the Buckeyes possess may be a bit much for Maryland.

That being said, it’s a conference game and with some home cooking and a few threes, the Terps could add their name to that of Carolina, Purdue, Duke and San Diego State as a team that’s knocked off Ohio State.

If Vegas set a trap, I’ll fall into it. Thornton goes for a game high 20 points and he and his OSU mates hand a very game Terrapin team a 78-72 loss.

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Saturday
January 7, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3057


what to do?


The Ravens are in a pinch.

A quarterback pinch, you might say.

Their star quarterback isn't playing.

Their back-up quarterback hardly threw a ball all week because of a bum shoulder.

And, well, they just happen to be playing a game tomorrow that could decide their playoff fate.

What to do?

Play for all the marbles, try to win the game and the silly coin flip with the Bengals that would follow?

The Chargers still have to win in Denver, too, remember. If the Ravens win the game on Sunday, they're only the #6 seed if L.A. wins. If the Ravens win and the Broncos beat the Chargers, Baltimore moves to #5 and takes on the Jacksonville/Houston winner in the AFC South.

You tell me. Would you rather play the Titans or Jaguars on the road next weekend or the Bengals, somewhere?

I think I know what we all secretly covet, even if it's nothing something we want to say out loud at parties. None of us really want to see the Bengals again, unless it somehow magically happens that the two teams meet, say, in the AFC Championship Game.

But next weekend?

Take me to Jacksonville or Nashville, please.

And don't make it look so obvious tomorrow, for the sake of the gamblers if nothing else.

That said, we all know professional players and coaches aren't wired like that. While we sit in our living rooms and drop a hint or two about losing on purpose, no one in Owings Mills is thinking that way. But in the back of John Harbaugh's mind.......

And even if the Ravens win tomorrow in Cincinnati, their fate still ultimately rests with the Chargers and their encounter with Russell Wilson and the Broncos. In order for the Ravens to snag that #5 seed and play the AFC South champion next week, Denver has to beat L.A. tomorrow and Baltimore has to beat the Bengals.

What to do?

And, more importantly, whom to do it with?

Because this next issue, I'd say, is more important than whether you play Cincinnati, Jacksonville or Tennessee next weekend.


Should Tyler Huntley start tomorrow given you're still not sure about Lamar Jackson's availability the following weekend in the playoff opener?

If Huntley and his ailing shoulder can't make it through tomorrow's game in Cincinnati and then both he and Lamar aren't available on the opening playoff weekend, what chance do you have of beating anyone with Anthony Brown Jr. or Brett Hundley under center?

I get it, Tyler Huntley hasn't exactly looked like the next coming of Joe Burrow during his December starting stint, but if he's healthy, he gives you a better chance of winning than either Brown or Hundley. At least that's what you would think given that Harbaugh and Greg Roman could start Brown or Hundley this week if they thought either of those guys were better than Huntley.

Lamar, of course, is the central piece to the entire dilemma. Harbaugh said yesterday, "The honest truth is we just don't know" and you have to believe him at this point. I mean, Lamar isn't even practicing. He's not jogging, taking a snap or two, throwing the ball on the sidelines at practice. He's not doing anything.

Harbaugh and Jackson could be in on this together, of course. The coach and quarterback might know, right now, that Lamar is going to play next weekend against the Bengals, Jaguars or Titans. And they just don't want to say anything to help their opponent(s) prepare their defensive game plan.

If that's happening, it's understandable. As I say here all the time, the organization's only goal is to win football games. Period.

They are not responsible for helping you with your fantasy team or your gambling habit and contrary to popular belief, the fans aren't "entitled to know what's going on" as many folks claim on social media.

I'll continue to contend what I've been contending for a while now. Lamar isn't playing because he doesn't want to play.

That does not mean Lamar isn't injured. I believe he's hurt. But the way I see it at this point, there are only three possible solutions with Jackson as the season comes to a close.

First, he's still ailing with a sore knee and can't "physically" play football right now.

Second, his condition has improved over the last 3-4 weeks and he's at, say, 80% health-wise, but doesn't want to wear a brace or any other stabilizing device on his knee. Thus, he doesn't want to play unless he's at 100% health-wise.

And third, Lamar is healthy enough to play but given his contract situation and the up-in-the-air status of his long-term deal, Jackson is effectively "sitting in" and deciding he'd rather not play than play and risk injury.

The other scenario, as I mentioned above, is that Jackson has been healthy enough to play for the last week or two but Harbaugh held him out for the playoffs. With all that was at stake in the games against Atlanta, Pittsburgh and, now, the Bengals, I can't imagine Jackson was held out of games in which he could have started and played. I just don't buy that. Winning means too much to Harbaugh to allow for that to take place.


So, it's one of the three I listed above. Can't play, doesn't want to play unless he's 100%, has decided not to play because of his contract situation and the fear of injury.

Pick one of those three.

I don't know which one it is, but if you made me bet one of the three, I'd bet #2. I don't think Lamar is 100% and I don't think he wants to play on a bad knee, risking both additional injury and diminished value in the ongoing contract talks.

What perhaps Jackson isn't thinking about is this: He's now basically missed the month of December in both of the last two seasons. His "value" is, I'm thinking, connected to that fact.

"You want us to give you two hundred and fifty million dollars and you haven't played in December for the last two years?"

You can hear Eric DeCosta saying that right now as he slides Jackson's game-by-game log over to him at the bargaining table.

And then here's the real question no one wants to talk about parties.

I've asked this one recently both here and on the air at 105.7.

If you're the Ravens and you somehow discover that Jackson has been healthy for the last few weeks but has essentially said, "I'm not playing because of the contract situation and I don't want to risk injury", how do you bring him back in 2023?

I realize that it's difficult to fully ascertain if, in fact, Lamar is staging a "sit in" at this point. But if you somehow find out he's been healthy and just not playing because of the contract saga, how can you put him back in your locker room in 2023?

Would you bring him back?

Or would you consider a "sit in" to be insubordination to the highest degree and something that can't be repaired going forward?

The next 36 hours are going to be really interesting for the Ravens.

Do you play Huntley knowing -- or at least assuming -- that Lamar might not be ready next weekend in the playoffs and that Huntley is your starter again in the opening round of the post-season?

Do you sit Huntley tomorrow and play one of the other guys, effectively ending any chance you can of finishing 5th and playing the Jaguars or Titans instead of the Bengals?

Decisions, decisions.

When it comes to the quarterback position, the Ravens are facing a lot of critical decisions over the next day, over the next week and well into January.

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#dmd comments








larry     February 03
Duke coach is making a stink and blaming "the world" for that mix up?? If the players didn't notice after one or two possessions, well not sure what to say there. That Duke team must stink if it took 20 minutes of play to realize they had the wrong ball.

hank     February 03
Hard to decide who is the bigger curmudgeon these days, @MFC or @UTB. @UTB, we are from the same generation, and I used to b*tch and moan about a lot of the stuff that you do as well, then finally decided WTH am I doing? We are on the back 9 brother, find things that you enjoy, that make you happy, and focus on those things. Leave all the bellyaching to the young twitter dopes who think they know everything! None of them know even 20% of what us old farts know. God bless brother!

Unitastoberry     February 03
Thanks CIK. Forgot about sleeve ball Al Davis. Perhaps it's time for a MLB owner to challenge the league on franchise relocation? Maybe Fredo is working with Hyman Roth on that? Lol

Ken     February 03
Five predictions from Drew's lead article today.



1. Ravens sign Lamar to 3 year $140 million deal that's all guaranteed.

2. Canales of Seattle is the new O.C.

3. Caps make playoffs lose in first round to Carolina.

4. Tiger wins a tournament this year but not a major and then retires.

5. Terps are a 4 seed in NCAA tourney and lose in 2nd round.

Joe     February 03
The Wizards are wildly inconsistent this year, going 3-14 during one stretch along with a 4, a 5, and a 6 game winning streak. They are a better team than last year, as Kristaps Porzingis has been relatively injury free and Bradley Beal has actually started distributing the basketball. Kyle Kuzma is a legit scorer, but also a pending free agent so he could possibly be traded by next week's deadline. They did trade Rui Hachimura two weeks ago to the Lakers, who was a solid player but literally doesn't pass the ball, averaging less than an assist per game in over 20 minutes a game (which is hard to do).



I have been a fan since the Baltimore Bullet days, and miss the success of Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes ...

CIK     February 03
@David R

The fact that nobody could immediately feel the difference in the ball is puzzling. My guess is they were using the correct ball. As soon as you play with a women’s ball, you realize it’s much easier to handle and shoot.

CIK     February 03
@U2B

I am sure the NFL has the same language in the owners contracts. The problem is that Al Davis challenged that and beat the NFL in court. So there is precedent to move and not have to get “approval”.

David Rosenfeld     February 03
Wanted to comment about the first thing in the Breakfast Bytes. The Duke coach says that "this would never happen in a men's game." I've actually seen it happen, the teams realized after a minute that they were using a women's ball, and the ball was switched. She said cryptically that "you can figure out who the people are" that failed in this situation. Can you? It could have been a variety of things...like, there is an entire rack of balls for warmups, were they all women's balls and did this get put into the rack by accident? The person who brings the rack out onto the court might be a 19-year-old team manager or a random facilities person. I've never seen a game where the refs don't check the ball before the game. They didn't notice? Seems a bit odd, and something to kind of laugh about in retrospect instead of making a federal case about.

TimD in Timonium     February 03
Regular updates & news about The Wiz? Yawn. Pass.



I'm not an NBA guy, but I have been watching LeBron play lately. Averaging 30 a night and is a week away from becoming the all-time NBA scoring leader. Amazing.



Orioles. Caps. College lax. (Almost) March Madness. Plenty of good stuff to see / talk about.




MFC     February 03
Dog days, you could be a Tar Heel fan and watch the #1 ranked team (first week) fall out of the top 25 and "may" not get an NCAA bid. The NIL "sponsors" want their money back. Not to worry as Bacot rides around Chapel Hill in his Carolina Blue Audi Q8. Also, an interesting article in the NY Times about the NIL and how it's siphoning off $$$ that used to go directly into the general funds of athletic programs. And how about Alabama football where a d-back wanted $800,000 to play there and Nick said, "this may not be the right school for you".But his QB got a million, it pays to be an offensive player, especially QB.



Lady Terps got beat in IOWA last night as this kid Clark goes off for 42, she is a player. Game ended after 11, how are those 9 AM classes going today?



I'm so sick and tired of these basketball officials going to the replay for everything. Dragging the games down. I know it's important to get the call right but it's really getting out of hand.

Unitastoberry     February 03
So NFL teams can move whenever and MLB teams have to get the other owners approval. That's interesting. What's also interesting is that most MLB owners hate Angelos because he backed a union work stoppage but he's not anything about paying players top money since the Albert Belle fiasco. He's a hypocrite. They ruined baseball for me and others in my age group during the prime of my life in Baltimore. This nucleus of draft picks now will end up like the mid 90s and mid 2010s nucleus. Sold off unless there's a new owner.

Karl     February 03
Cleveland has 3 teams, Philly , Washington, but yet this town barely can sustain NFL and MLB and complain that UMD doesnt market here….bottom 5 in attendance for MLB- a wonder why any business owner would not move to Nashville- and NFL didnt want to be here….if attendance to games falter ….will their reasoning be true….at least we have the Ironbirds and Ferrous!

lou@palo alto     February 02
Ah, Steve--# 32 Browns, 19 Colts-livin the dream!!!

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Comparing players from different eras is not feasible .Jim Brown from the 1960s is considered by many to be the greatest running back of all time,; however he never faced linebackers with 4.5 speed .His cutback style against the grain like they did in those days doesn't fly in today's game

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
@U2B- I was 6 when Johnny U took his last snap on 33rd street so I never got to see him play. I would have liked to. But you and @Lou are correct, it is apples to peaches when comparing the Brady football era with the Johnny U football era. What I don't think can be argued very far is the statement, they both reigned as best of their time.

MFC     February 02
Bob S, I think "the Stallion" passed away, "bingo baby". Loved his spots on local tv in OC. He was the best. (If he passed, which I think he did, hope I'm wrong)



SUCH, I think there's a lot of "free" money around. Given the gambling and the future cannabis revenue. That's why no taxes raised in state of state speech. I think that's where the piggy bank is. I'm fine on the expenditure if it keeps the O's in town.

Such     February 02
I'm beginning to have serious doubts about this Angelos fella who has taken unilateral control of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball Club.

I'm not an English professor, so I had to look up "paradigm", which it turns out is defined as "a typical example or pattern of something; a model". I also had to re-read his quote a few times to try and deconstruct all of the PR farm byproduct contained therein.

I'm not entirely sure how a guy who has been Governor of the state for less than a month has "the vision and commitment" to revitalize Downtown Baltimore by pumping a half a billion dollars into a baseball park, but I'm fairly certain I could do a lot of good with that kind of public money too. Call me a cynic while you get off my lawn.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't get the warm and fuzzies from Angelos fils. He strikes me as entitled and condescending. At least his old man was a civic benefactor who actually spent his time in the city. This guy will be laughing all the way to the bank in Nashville with his loot.

The sooner the organization is sold, the better. I realize what that's contingent upon, and I'm not rooting for it, but it will be a better day for this team and its fans when a new ownership group is running things.

Unitastoberry     February 02
Unitas played in 5 title games. He lost 2 won 3. In SB 3 he was about 55% came off the bench(Throwing arm elbow Tendonitis) for Morrall halfway in the 3rd quarter moved the team and threw an interception in the end zone. His 40239 passing yards from 1955-1973 is equivelent to 80000-90000 today. 3 time MVP. I never liked Brady until he got old. He was a stud stat wise and championship wise. Yes he did benefit from numerous rule changes, longer seasons,better surgical techniques, year round training, and huge mega million dollar deals. Unitas has none of that. After his torn up and civil war style knee surgery he started to go south along with a torn achilles, and nagging tendonitits and no doubt arthritis. The man was beaten to a pulp. But I have to say those 7 rings Brady has along with the stats and MVPs makes him the goat. But hear this youngsters. Unitas is still the best pro QB Baltimore has ever had and his last snap on 33rd street was in 1972. Half a century ago.

Chris in Bel Air     February 02
Because he played on the Patriots, anytime they played the Ravens I wanted to see Brady getting up after each play looking through his ear hole. But at the tail of his career there and especially with TB, I came to appreciate his level of performance. It may not be in the category of Cal's consecutive game streak and or Cy Young's 511 wins but it's quite remarkable what he's done and I just don't see another QB winning 7 SBs and also breaking his records for passing yards and TD passes.

Speaking of Super Bowl? I'm sure you all heard of the ticket prices to attend this year. I really enjoy attending a couple Ravens games per year and obviously root hard for them to win but there is no way I'm ever paying that type of money for a ticket... plus airfare, hotel, food, drinks. For a football game? No chance. Well, unless I win the mega-millions. Like I said, no chance.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     February 02
Drew, it's great to see you bringing Bobby Vermillion and "Endless Golf" on at DMD!

Now all you need to do is get Bobby's old partner "The Stallion" on board for his gambling picks!

lou@palo alto     February 02
there is no comparing the modern QB position to Johnny U: can't hit the QB or receiver, OL w different rules, 12 games per yr & call your own plays, too many teams--fyi

larry     February 02
A for profit business being all about the money, say it ain't so! Why in the world would the Orioles, or the Ravens, want only to be "a good citizen"? Newsflash, they are business entities, NOT citizens!

@MFC is correct too. The city needs to revitalize inner harbor back into the crown jewel it used to be, and with Port Covington development, the whole downtown area, including Canton, Fells Point, Fed Hill, etc could generate an insane amount of economic activity. But, you have to make the city safe. At least that part of the city.

Is this mayor up for that? He wants to remember his roots and all, but part of making the city safe is doing things his political party likes to be "outraged" about. Do they have the stones to crack down on things past administrations seemingly turned a blind eye to? And face the wrath of the "outrage for profit" crowd? I sure hope so, cause Baltimore could certainly use an economic revitalization and all the jobs that comes with. What better way to help your impoverished citizens?

Delray Rick     February 02
BRADY the BABE RUTH of football

Jason M     February 02
Brady was the best I ever got to watch, and like #52, I feel privileged that we got to watch one of the all time greats do his thing. I used to hate him for being such a Raven Killer, but hell after awhile you need to give credit where credit is due, and I have probably spent the last decade of his career as an admirer. The stats on his durability are a great and not often cited insight - no missed games for injury since 2008 - Brady is Iron Man.



I think you'll see big crowds at Fan Fest this weekend. I am bullish on the future of the city, 3 James Beard nominated restaurants, Broadway productions at the Hippo, MLB at the Yard and NFL across the way. You're not getting that in Westminster, Columbia or Frederick, as safe as those places are.

MFC     February 02
We have a complex 2 blocks away called the inner harbor, which is supposed to have a major makeover. Port Covington is advancing rapidly, lets take advantage of that. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area. What we need is a safe city. Let's solve that. No squeegee "kids", lots of police presence to feel safe walking the city. People will go downtown if they feel safe.

And let's get the players to be involved in the city. A major outreach program would do miracles and not just with the Oriole Bird.

Steve of Pimlico     February 02
Call me cynical but this new Camden Yard complex will be finished when the rebuilt Pimlico Race Course is completed.

Our refurbished downtown arena is going to still be an outdated facility.

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 02
Im surprised idiots online continue to fall for the Os moving nonsense. The Sun perfectly outlined why it behooves the Os not to sign a 5 yr lease causing unfavorable provisions to roll over, plus the 600 mil coming their way let alone the 3 or 4 billion sale price in 2 or 3 years or the fact that MLB has blocked SF, Oak, TB and everybody else thats tried to move without permission the last 70 years. Os are proving the old saying youll never go broke betting on the American public's gullibility.

Vince     February 01
Brady done?....

Or is his movie tanking and this is a ploy to get folks in the theater?

Stats Nerd     February 01
@Howard everything I have heard seems to indicate Exclusive. The consensus seems to be that he is worth more than simply the 2 1sts that non-exclusive carries with it. Of course they could use non-exclusive and still trade him for more than the 2 firsts but it's maybe not as clean

Howard     February 01
Which franchise tag for Lamar? I would favor the non-exclusive tag. If he signs a reasonable contract with another team the Ravens can match it. If the Ravens do not want to match it, they get number one picks in 2023 and 2024. Most importantly, if no one offers him, his 2023 salary is $32 million rather than $45 million, meaning that EDC would not have to blow up the team in order to get under the cap

David Rosenfeld     February 01
Dale as you said the home/road FT disparity is hardly new. Nor is the fact that teams play better at home. I just think some of the stretches the team has had on the road have been horrendous. By the time it's 21-4 or 17-4 or 25-11 or whatever, it's hard to even take the stats for the rest of the game seriously.

I think you hit the nail on the head about last night. Seems silly to say 18 pts and 20 rebounds is making it hard on a guy but it really was...it's a team game that requires a lot more than one guy to win.

hal     February 01
What exactly does "open their books" even mean? So many fans just parrot the media in that regard, what specific financial data do people want to see. More importantly, how much true financial data would a fan or media member even understand?

Ala the BP lunatic, people think they will easily see "that crooked family made two billion $ over the last 10 years" and then pretend "they coulda bought baseball players with that money". These are the same people who say Bisciotti "made" $3B because he paid 750K for Ravens and they could be sold for $4B now.

As for moving, if the O's don't sign a long term lease and eventually move, we need to hold Mayor Scott and Gov Moore accountable. John A claims these two as "personal friends", so how can a lease extension not already be done? I am aware Irsay flat out lied to Schaefer years ago, but Billy Don never claimed that drunken stooge was a personal friend of his, this would be way worse than what happened in 1984. Media should stop chasing Angelos and start chasing B Scott.

Such     February 01
Of more interest than "opening the books" (HaHaHa!) is whether John Angelos signs the one-year lease extension by the end of today. That will be the best indicator of his intentions about the future of the Orioles in Baltimore. His reluctance to do so has me thinking that the Nashville rumors might have some fire and not just smoke.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I can see a scenario where the Orioles go to Nashville and the Oakland A's move here. When billionaires are involved, anything is possible.

Jason M     February 01
They should have a special accounting area set up at fan fest where the P&L can be viewed and audited. They could have the fans get interactive and track how much of their cash made it to the teams bottom line. Talk about interactive and fun for the whole family!

lou@palo alto     February 01
yes, spy is better having played both many times. will be at pebble tho this sat, walking around the turn where u can see holes 8-13--by far the best walking holes for fans

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Youre right Larry. Im only right when i bet the opposite of what Dale predicts. Im not a hater im a thanker!!

CIK     February 01
Dale provides excellent coverage of Terps basketball. His coverage and analysis is thorough and thoughtful. But to say he is hitting 80% winners is preposterous. Just because you write a nice blog doesn’t mean you are “sharp” when picking games.

MFC     February 01
Agree 100% on the Spyglass take, a much better and significantly harder course.



Picking basketball scores might be the hardest of all there are so many variables. Dales does a great job with his reporting and insight how about just enjoying that. If you're placing bets based on his projections the fault lies with you, not him.



TB 12 ruined his marriage for that season?

Josh     February 01
Tom Brady “retiring…for good”. Sure, we’ll see about that

Frank D     February 01
Sooooo - now we can sign Tom Brady for one year and win us another SB??????

Unitastoberry     February 01
As for Angelo's LLC aka Oriole's books. A bird told flew in the window at the warehouse and reported that despite virtually paying nobody but Chris Davis since 1997 they have made a billion plus and paid very little in taxes. The bird was then eaten by a hungry hawk. No further details are available. Remember feed your feathered friends in the cold weather months.

Larry     February 01
Eric in Gaithersburg has never been wrong. Don't you guys all know that?

Creston     February 01
I have followed Dale Williams since he started writing here and I'd put his hoops knowledge up against any of you clowns who criticize him for his predictions.

He probably gets 80% of the games/outcomes right but you clowns only worry about the 20%. Go back to your moms basement clowns and let the basketball guy handle the basketball analysis. Great job Dale!

Eric in Gaithersburg     February 01
Dale wrong as usual! He should do a radio show with Cowherd and Francesa. Backaftathis twitter account would commit suicide from over work. Meanwhile the lame played out Michael Jordan twitter memes from "Turgeon" have oddly disappeared. Never understood that lame flex- look at the new guy failing to dig out the mess i left him? Willard not only deserves coach of the year he also currently 18th ranked recruiting class. Brighter days finally here

Delray RICK     February 01
Read on internet bout KELCE Brothers from their mom when they grew up. HILARIOUS!!

Kevin     January 31
Another spot on prediction by #Dale.

Jk     January 31
Drew......back on the radio. He just announced on Twitter. Welcome back Drew.

hal     January 31
SOD loyalists "RC" and "Geno" must have missed the part where DMD also stated quite clearly that MSJ most certainly did NOT "run up the score" vs CHC. MFC might be being kind saying those guys need a session or two of RC 101, they might need new eyeglasses!

TimD in Timonium     January 31
@Hank, you are correct, sir. LB Roquan Smith has no agent. I thought I'd read he did have one last August, but I'm mistaken. No agent. Got the deal done.

Bobby     January 31
@CIK maybe you should have just stopped at.....



" Nobody knows because Lamar doesn’t put much out there."

Friday
January 6, 2023
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3056


friday stuff


I think everyone agrees that no matter what the NFL does with regard to the Buffalo-Cincinnati game, their solution will be criticized by someone.

And as much as the NFL does a lot of screwy stuff and deserves most of the negative scrutiny they get, this is one occasion where you have to feel sorry for them. They didn't ask for this. It was a terrible, terrible incident that happened to take place at almost the very worst time possible.

But these ideas that the owners are going to vote on sometime today? Wow...

Roger Goodell and the NFL owners will meet today to vote on a proposed playoff format change that could have the Ravens hosting the Bengals next weekend in the playoffs.

They're going to play the AFC Championship Game at a neutral site if it involves the Chiefs, Bengals or Bills? What on earth?

They're going to decide who hosts a first-round playoff game between the Ravens and Bengals (if one occurs) by a coin toss if Baltimore wins this Sunday in Cincy? #Clownshoes

The Bengals have to be going nuts over this. Through entirely no fault of their own, they might not get to host a playoff game because they call tails and it comes up heads.

Then again, Cincinnati does have a home game against the Ravens this weekend. Win that and you don't have to worry about the coin toss. But still. You're going to put an entire season's worth of football on a coin toss because you decided not to finish a game that wasn't completed last night? Holy cow.

Here's the one premise I thought was undeniable. If you're the NFL and you're trying to create the most fair solution humanly possible, then Buffalo vs. Cincinnati had to be resumed and finished. When you do it, where you do it, etc. is secondary to the simple fact that you must finish that game at some point before the post-season begins.

Based on what came out last night around 9:30 pm, that's not going to happen. Buffalo-Cincinnati will not be played.

Not finishing the game and having two playoff teams play fewer games than other teams is simply not fair. And it's not the right way to solve the dilemma.

All along there were only three solutions.

1. Resume the Bills-Bengals game this past Tuesday or Wednesday. In other words, clear the field on Monday night, temporarily postpone the game, tell the Bills to stay in Cincinnati, and have the two teams report back to the stadium either Tuesday (terrible idea) or Wednesday (bad idea) to finish the game. We all know, obviously, that solution wasn't used and I think we all agree based on the circumstances asking those two teams to play again with 48 hours was insensitive.

2. Play Buffalo-Cincinnati this Sunday and give the rest of the league "off" this weekend. The entire week 17 schedule, in terms of playoff seeding, home games, byes, etc. hinged on the result of the week 16 game in Cincinnati. In order to effectively prepare for week 17 (for those teams still vying for playoffs, home games, etc.), week 16 has to conclude first. So giving 30 teams "off" this weekend and playing Buffalo-Cincinnati on Saturday or Sunday would have been the very best way to handle this issue. Alas, that's not happening, either.

3. Play week 17 as scheduled, leaving the Monday night game between Buffalo and Cincinnati unresolved. You could then play Buffalo-Cincinnati on Sunday, January 15, delaying the start of the playoffs by a week. You'd pick up the post-season the following week and play it out from there, losing the traditional "open week" between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.

This scenario wass under consideration by the NFL. This was not the best solution (#2 above is), but it would have been, at the very least, a way to get the Buffalo-Cincinnati game played in its entirety, albeit after the fact and out of order, so to speak.

I don't know much but I know this: Not finishing the Buffalo-Cincinnati game is the worst thing the league can do. They had to figure out some way to get that game in. The only truly fair way to do it for everyone involved (meaning: playoff teams or teams battling for a playoff spot) is to play Bills-Bengals game first and then proceed with the week 17 schedule next weekend.

If your goal is fairness, that's the best solution. If your goal is fairness, it's actually the only solution.

Not finishing the Bills-Bengals game? That's the worst solution of them all.

Now we're playing neutral site games and flipping coins. What's next? Doubleheaders and paper-rock-scissors?


I noticed some contention in the Comments section yesterday regarding the application of prayer with regard to Damar Hamlin and his recovery from Monday's tragic incident in Cincinnati.

I'll take the blame for the tension here. I, of course, authored an extensive thought on Wednesday proclaiming that both prayer and God's providence were responsible for Hamlin's recovery.

Some of you don't believe in prayer. Some of you also don't believe in God's will. On both accounts, I say "fair enough".

I'm not here to steer you in any direction. And I'm not here to shout you down if you don't believe in prayer or God's providence.

You believe whatever it is you want to believe.

When I say "I'm not worried about you", please don't take that the wrong way. I want good health and happiness for you, no matter if I know you or not.

But when it comes to your belief in God or the words in the Bible, I'm not worried about you. I'm worried about me. I'm trying harder and harder to understand it all myself and put my faith to better use, whether that's with myself, my wife and children or the golf programs I lead at Calvert Hall and Maryland FCA.

I say this with a smile. I have enough on my plate worrying about me. I can't add you and your issues at this time.

But when it comes to Damar Hamlin, here's what I believe.

First, though, let me remind you of a story. Then I'll tell you what I believe.

When Jesus was being led to his crucifixion, the wife of Pontius Pilate was adamant that Jesus be treated fairly. She urged her husband to not have Jesus crucified.

Pilate, of course, was under immense pressure to have the "King of the Jews" crucified. Appease his wife or appease his superiors who wanted Jesus dead?

So Pilate asked Jesus a series of questions, none of which Jesus answered appropriately.

At one point, frustrated and getting nowhere, Pilate said to Jesus, "You refuse to speak to me? Don't you know I have the power to set you free and the power to have you crucified?"

Jesus said to Pilate: "The only power you have over me is the power given to you by God."

That exchange is, by far, my favorite one in the Bible. Here's Jesus, about to be stretched out on a cross and left for dead, glorifying God to his enemy. Glorifying God, in fact, to the very man who is going to punish him by death.

And it was true, of course. The only reason Pontius Pilate had any power at all was because God created him, gave him wisdom and allowed him to use that intellgence and power to make decisions like approving of Jesus's crucifixion.

In 2023 verbiage, when Pilate asked that question of him, Jesus would say: "Bro, who are you kidding? You're nothing without God. If God wouldn't have created you in the first place, you wouldn't even be here. And when he did create you, everything you have going for you right now is through God's mercy. You owe all of your luck and good fortune to God."

Now, we'll get to my point about Damar Hamlin.

Someone here noted that Hamlin didn't survive Monday's incident because of prayer. He survived because of, a reader here surmised, science and medicine.

I agree that science and medicine most certainly played a role this week. There is no doubt about that at all.

Do you know who gave the inventor of the AED the wisdom and smarts to create that extraordinary piece of life-saving equipment? God did.

Do you know who gave the doctors and athletic trainers who attended to Hamlin on the field Monday night their medical "smarts"? God gave it to them, that's who.

When Hamlin was rushed to the hospital, do you know who was responsible for the initial team of doctors and nurses? God was. He created those people. He was there on Monday night, with them, keeping them alert, panic-free and aware of their education and experience that brought them to that very moment where Damar Hamlin's life was in their hands. God gave them the tools to navigate their way through Hamlin's injury.

If not for God, Damar Hamlin wouldn't have survived on Monday night.

Whether it was my prayer, your prayer, millions of prayers -- they worked on Monday night. You know how I know they worked? Damar Hamlin is still with us today and he's starting to improve.

I'm not writing this here today to push you to change your mind about God and His role in the world and your life, specifically. You believe whatever you want.

And here's the best thing of all: If you're a non-believer, God still loves you.

As the great Denzel Washington once told a group of college graduates he was addressing: "Throughout my life, from time to time, I've run away from God. But he has always been there for me. I'd leave and come back, and he'd still be there. I wasn't always there for him. But he was always there for me."


Our esteemed Maryland basketball analyst, Dale Williams, is feeling under the weather and wasn't able to provide a recap of last night's Maryland loss at Rutgers.

Jahmir Young's 13 points led Maryland in last night's loss at Rutgers.

And while I watched a good portion of it, I'm not all that interested in breaking down what transpired the way Dale would. I can just tell you Maryland was, once again, not very good.

After another dreadfully slow start where they trailed early, 15-4, Maryland scratched their way back to a 24-17 halftime deficit. It wasn't pretty by any means, but the game was still available to the Terps at intermission.

Maryland would twice cut the Rutgers lead to four points early in the second half. Things looked promising.

And then, just like that, a 34-30 advantage was 42-30, thanks mostly to a clumsy foul by Julian Reese that was deemed, after video review, to be flagrant. Two made free throws and an offensive rebound later, Rutgers hit a bucket to go up 42-40. Donta Scott missed a lay-up, Rutgers poured in another field goal, and it was 44-30 and that was the ballgame.

The hosts eventually built an 18-point advantage and the two teams just goofed around for the last eight minutes or thereabouts, as Rutgers won the Big Ten encounter, 64-50.

Jahmir Young led Maryland with 13 points, but he turned the ball over 4 times. The bloom seems to be off his rose.

Don Carey had a nice night off the bench with 12 points for Kevin Willard's team.

The loss drops Maryland to 10-5 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten play. It doesn't get any easier this Sunday when they host Ohio State at 1 pm. The Buckeyes lost a home thriller to #1 ranked Purdue last night, 71-69. The Terps will need a massive upgrade in effort and performance on Sunday to handle Ohio State.

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The Stats Nerd
And His Numbers


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The Stats Nerd


new year's resolution redux


(Today’s column is a refreshed version of a similar column I ran last year…some points are exactly the same others have been modified slightly but the message is the same)

This column will only tangentially relate to sports and analytics so I hope you bear with me a bit.

It seems anytime there is a touchstone moment i