Archive for January, 2007

Towson Catholic / St. Frances Boys Game Log
January 26, 2007

7:00 PM

You know a good one’s on tap when there are no seats to be found even during the jayvee game. That’s the situation for our first live game log (glog) for Xtra Points at wbaltv.com. Towson Catholic, ranked 1st in the Sun Poll at 3rd ranked St. Frances provide the excitement. It’s a rematch from earlier in the season, a game the Owls won easily by ten, and I’m told by a St. Frances administrator that it wasn’t that close. But that was at TC, tonight at SFA they expect something else.

Plenty of college coaches here including Towson’s Pat Kennedy. We’re seven minutes from tip off. Stay tuned.

7:22 PM

Second verse same as the first, at least so far. Towson Catholic’s Donte Green (headed to Syracuse) needed just 11 seconds to score the game’s first points. Did so on a drive and drew the foul on the Panthers best player Sean Mosely. Halfway through the first quarter 10-3 Towson Catholic.

7:30 PM

SFA settled down in front of the home crowd and played better the rest of the quarter. The Panthers are well coached. TC went to a zone and SFA immediately recognized and responded with good ball movement leading to a Sean Mosely three. That said, The Owl are so loaded with talent none of tht might matter. Donte Green and Malcolm Delaney show why they have division one scholarshiops. 22-13 TC after one.

7:48 PM

The 2nd quarter gave us what we expected. A great game back and forth. Donte Green and Malcolm Delaney continue to impress, each with 12 points at the break. But SFA really showed some toughness. The Panthers could have been blown out. Instead they went diving for every loose ball, surprised the Owls with blocked shots and steals. Sean Mosely has 11 to lead the Panthers. It would have been a four point game at the half, but Brandon Green for TC drilled a fadeaway three at the buzzer to give Towson Catholic a 39-32 lead at halftime.

8:06 PM

It’s a little sloppier, maybe getting tired, but the intensity and effort are great from both teams. Malcolm Delaney missed a dunk, immediately stole the pass then finished a ridicul0usly difficult left hand layup forcing a SFA timeout. Donte Green seems a little frustrated as the Owls continue to settle for threes while he’s open inside. Can’t say I blame him. 48-44 TC with 1:46 left in 3rd quarter.

Quick note, joining the coaches in attendance is Maryland assistant and Dunbar legend Keith Booth.

8:15 PM

TC remembered that Donte Green is bigger than everyone on the court, and quicker than most. He has started to take over. Drawing fouls and hitting free throws. But Nija Hibbert stole a pass just before the end of the 3rd for a buzzer beating layup (that’s two out of three quarters the buzzer takes a loss). St. Frances keeps hanging around. 6:28 left in the game and the Owls lead 56-50.

8:27 PM

We have a ballgame. 4:00 left and for the first time since 0-0, it’s tied. 57-57 on a pair of Desmond Thomas free throws. Now it’s Malcolm Delaney getting frustrated and again I don’t blame him. He keeps driving the lane and getting hacked, but the refs have stayed quiet.

8:37 PM

Ain’t I the kiss of death. From that last post, Towson Catholic ends the game on a 14-1 run winning the contest 71-58. All the energy it took to tie the game was all the Panthers seemed to have. Malcolm Delaney and Donte Green wouldn’t allow an upset. They finish with 20 and 22 points respectively. Sean Mosely led the Panthers with 21. There was a bit of pushing and shoving at the end of the game, the culmination of two good teams playing very hard for an hour and a half.

Thanks for following along. Make sure to vote at Xtra Points next week and send me to your game.

Throwing it back at you
January 25, 2007

e-mail Pete

The Maryland Men played very well Wednesday night. Swarming defense and the best night James Gist’s career helped the Terps to an 80-65 victory over Georgia Tech. The win leaves Maryland at 16-5 overall and 2-4 in the ACC. Considering the Terrapins have yet to play Duke or North Carolina, knocking off the Yellow Jackets (a team without a road win since Feb. 25th, 2005) was a must. Job well done.

Then came the post game comments from Gary Williams immediately following during the radio broadcast. And forgive me for paraphrasing a bit as I was riding along in my car and just listening.

It was a very good win for us. It was really nice to throw it back in the face of some people.

The people to which Gary Williams referred were the media and some fans, but mostly the media. Sun Columnist Rick Maese took Gary to task earlier this week for accepting mediocrity.

Gary’s comments last night prove it. If beating a lousy Tech team at home serves as a notch on the belt about which to brag then calling the Terps mediocre is unfair to the word mediocre.

I’m not sure when the transformation occurred but Williams went from NCAA Champion and author of how to beat the big boys without star recruits, to a champion of failed expectations and leads the league in whining about anyone not on board the Gary Train.

The Terps have some nice young players in Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Bambale Osby. It’s a good group on which to build. But the fact remains that Williams blew two huge recruiting classes following the 2002 Title and now sits well back in the ACC. His assessment of the situation (and confounding attitude) leaves little hope that the future is really any brighter.

Who’s the real Michael Vick?
January 18, 2007

e-mail Pete

The star on Michael Vick’s career grows dimmer by the day. The onetime darling of the NFL, the owner of a staggering 10 year contract, according to reports tried to sneak through airport security with a small amount of marijuana.

The list of his transgressions reads like a Hollywood Tabloid. From flipping off his own fans to passing along sexually transmitted diseases, Vick continues to destroy his chances at leading the Falcons to anything other than failure.

It’s sad to see such talent fall short of expectations. But on the bright side, we find the chance to search Vick’s non-football parallel. Who says football season is no fun once the Ravens are done, huh?

So we’re looking for someone immensely talented, a terrible decision maker, but still young enough to have a chance to rebound a career (as a bonus, finding a younger brother with his own legal problems would be a bonus.

Charlie Sheen comes to mind. His track record of malfeasance impresses with an arrest for misdemeanor battery, and testifying in the Heidi Fleiss trial to spending more than $50,000 on prostitutes.

He also has a famous brother (Emilio Estevez), but Charlie’s younger and Emilio has no arrest record.

Sheen though proved capable of resurrecting a once defunct career so at the least he provides as a role model for Vick.

Haley Joel Osment has the talent (blew everyone away in the 6th Sense) and an arrest record too. But Osment lacks the seediness of Vick. A little too innocent for a true comparison.

But Lindsay Lohan? She offers up talent as Disney Movie’s pride and joy, has a record deal with Casablanca/Universal, acts like a spoiled brat more often than not, and just the other day checked into rehab. She has younger siblings, and although none of them have gotten into trouble yet, it’s likely because they’re not old enough.

I’ve been instructed by a colleague that the comparison is too easy. But that doesn’t make it wrong. Michael Vick = Lindsay Lohan. Can’t wait to see what either does next. Whether it’s falling farther down or rising once again, they’ll no doubt move on in a manner that we can’t help but watch.

Moving On
January 18, 2007

e-mail Pete

I think I’m finally over the Colts move. Sure, it was still strange and a little hurtful seeing the blue horseshoes in Baltimore. Even seeing a guy from the Colts front office wearing the logo in the press box made me double take for a moment.

But once the game began it was all about studying the team I know best and wondering why after two weeks of rest and preparation they couldn’t solve anything about Indy’s defense.

The person responsible for the pain is long gone and putting away Bob Irsay’s treachery was maybe best summed up by an old friend. Phil Bailey is like an uncle to me, one of my Dad’s best friends with whom he shared three Colts season tickets for more than a decade.

I asked him before the game how he felt about the week of buildup to the Colts return. His view was very simple

“Pete, I believe in a just God so I know in my heart that Robert Irsay is rotating on a spit in Hell. So I’ve put it behind me.”

That’s Phil, clear cut and to the point. Except when talking politics, then we get muddled. But that’s a story for a different blog. I’ll send him Chip Franklin’s way for that.

What a week
January 13, 2007

e-mail Pete

A week unlike any other in Baltimore. Cal gets the call to the Hall and the Ravens host the Colts in the playoffs. Almost a surreal cauldron of pride and reflection for Ripken Jr. joined by the excitement, fear, anger, even mourning of tearing into the wound that is the Colts.

Cal’s big day held no real drama. Getting voted into Cooperstown was as a foregone conclusion as the sun rising in the east and that Peyton Manning will choke again in the playoffs. The only curiosity, where would he sit on the all time list for percentage of votes received. An impressive 98.53 percent said yes to longevity, to perseverance, to talent, to hard work, to doing things the right way…. to Cal.

The Ironman then made the media rounds, sitting down for interviews with each local television station, appropriately at the Sports Legend Museum at Camden Yards. There a top of conversation was struck by TV-11’s Gerry Sandusky. He asked Cal if he could go back to the age of 18, knowing what he knows now, would he? With the same lack of hesitancy that allowed him to commit just three errors in 1990, Cal said no way. The playing days were great, but where his life is headed, his excitement for the future has him only looking to the future. Imagine the life you’ve led if you have no desire to go back and try anything over. That is one complete Hall of Famer.

The rest of the week was devoured by the return of the Colts. With the story rehashed over and over, yet also with knew wrinkles learned (turns out a deal was struck that the Colts name and history would have been returned to Baltimore had the NFL allowed a team to come sooner… OUCH!).

I lived in Maryland at the time of the move, having grown up with season tickets to the Colts. Like many of you I learned of football through stories of the great championship days and by watching the Ruston Rocket go deep to Roger Carr. Although, the latter failed to happen nearly enough for the faithful at 33rd Street. (Hey diddle diddle, Lydell up the middle had fans scratching their heads at Ted Marchibroda’s play calling.)

My emotions bounced around all week, thinking about the good times that were stolen and wondering what if they had stayed. Irsay’s malevolence has caused me pain ever since. My football allegiance wandered aimlessly for years. My Dad and I tried to root for the Colts but that lasted only about six games into the first season. It was just too hard.

From there we adopted the Seattle Seahawks because of Curt Warner. A great running back at Penn State, Warner gave us something that felt like ours, but then we realized how ridiculous rooting for a team 3,000 miles away felt. For years then neither of us had a team.

Growing up in Montgomery County, most of my friends loved the Redskins. So finally, by about 1993 I went over to that dark side. Going to games at RFK and cheering for a team felt good. No, it felt great. But they weren’t really mine and the incomprehensibly crappy decisions by owner by Jack Kent Cooke and then Daniel Snyder finally left me again without a team.

Before the Ravens first season in Baltimore I got my first job in broadcasting. That sent me west to Missoula, Montana where, and this might surprise you, they don’t much care about the NFL. I missed out on the new relationship, only watching the Super Bowl Championship from afar.

Having now returned for a couple of years, it’s actually better for me not to be a “fan” of the Ravens. I can cover their exploits dispassionately which ultimately serves you better. But seeing the city go absolutely insane for their team and the possibilities again of a Championship run, it’s clear to me, time spent harboring hatred for Bob Irsay and Indianapolis is just a waste of time. The Ravens are here. They aren’t going anywhere, and even if the Colts pull the upset later today, there’s always next year. Football life is once again good in Baltimore, just enjoy it. As a fan of the game, and a guy getting to cover the most exciting thing on the American sporting landscape, I most certainly am.

Writers Gone Wild
January 7, 2007

e-mail Pete

I just read a fascinating article in the Sun today about how some of the writers voted for Baseball Hall of Fame candidates this year. Actually, disturbing is a better description.

Paul Ladewski of the Daily Southtown owns a vote for the Hall and tells the Sun he failed to vote for either Cal Ripken Jr. or Tony Gwynn. Not because he thinks they aren’t worthy as individuals. Instead he defends the decision like this.

“In an attempt to uphold the Hall of Fame standards established by their predecessors, I will not vote for anyone who played in the 1993-2004 period, which I consider to be the Steroids Era,”

Ladewski certainly owns the right to leave a player off the ballot if he feels the player cheated. It’s his job to judge. But to not judge each player on an individual basis, rather make a sweeping statement, goes beyond his scope.

Baseball, at least at one point, earned the title of “America’s Pastime.” Is there anything less American that an accusation of guilt by association?

Also Ladewski’s phrase “to uphold the Hall of Fame standards established by their predecessors” is laughable. How about Gaylord Perry? He cheated and made the Hall of Fame. Ty Cobb proved a social parasite but went in without blink of they eye.

The place to make a statement about believed steroid use should arrive in his column. Not in a decade long ban with Ladewski’s Hall of Fame ballot.