Archive for August, 2008

Limping to the line
August 25, 2008

In theory, the 4th preseason game accomplishes two goals.  Backups can fight for the final spots on the roster and teams make money.  That should be it.

The Ravens however have many more tasks at hand for Thursday night.  Troy Smith, if he can overcome a viral illness involving his tonsils, will not only start by play a significant amount of time.  Accompanying Smith then would be the first team offensive line. 

It’s not a disaster scenario, but clearly the Ravens put themselves at risk for injury and put extra wear on some veterans that don’t need it.

There’s not really an alternative, but this can’t bode well for the season.  Derrick Mason said it poignantly today.  “We’re not in an ideal situation.  We’re not an ideal team right now.”

But the attitude at Owings Mills, at least on the surface, is the one you’d hope to see.  Nobody’s hanging their head instead pledging to move forward. 

I asked John Harbaugh if he’s wondering when things will start going smoothly.  He responded, “It’s the NFL.  Is it ever supposed to go smoothly?”

And hey, the final preseason game now is actually worth tuning in to.   Good thing, it’s on our station.


UnPhavorable Pheedback
August 15, 2008

It’s just more fun when you can drop in a “ph”.   Michael Phelps gets the credit for that and just about everything else.  I hear he helped the of cessation of hostilities between Russia and Georgia.  Burt and Lonnie said they’d give it another go if Phelps will be their counselor. 

That’s the level of adulation engulfing the greatest swimmer of all time.  His destruction of the competition at the Beijing Games remains jaw dropping.  I can’t think of anyone matching physical supremacy with mental toughness and determination like Phelps.  He is impervious to pressure, teflon to distractions.  Phelps actually won gold, set a world record while swimming blind!

But what accompanies the gushing praise?  As always, a few green eyed monsters. 

Not everyone loves to trumpet brilliance.  Some choose to minimize, belittle, or downright discredit.  Phil Hersh in today’s Chicago Tribune challenges Michael Phelps greatness, claiming he’s not even in the top five of greatest Olympians ever.

Hey, it’s subjective.  Ranking athletes from different eras will always create different opinions.  Hersh though goes to great lengths in his column to downplay Michael’s accomplishments.  It seems Hersh’s agenda of criticism stems from a desire to slap down his media brethren as much as it does Michael Phelps.

He wants to be different.  He wants to appear smarter. 

He has the latter down pat.

Personally, I prefer the analysis from someone like’s Pat Forde.  His eyewitness accounts of one of the greatest Olympic stories has depth and perspective.  And most importantly, no outward agenda.