Thursday, January 31, 2013

Roger Goodell Texts Ray Lewis About His Banned Drug Usage

Ha!





The Boss


The Man Behind the Ravens’ Curtain



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Stallion's Super Bowl Party Preview

The change of surface!!!




Trust him when he tells you!!!


The Wizard of Oz



How the Ravens Stay on Top

The intelligence and patience of Ozzie Newsome has made Baltimore into a team built for the long haul


By Bill Barnwell on 


Although Sunday's Super Bowl marks the first trip the Baltimore Ravens have made to the big game in 12 years, just about every organization in football looks at what the Ravens have accomplished this century with a jealous eye. Since the beginning of the 2000 season, the Ravens have gone 126-82, a figure topped by just four NFL teams. They've had nine trips to the playoffs during that time, surpassed in the AFC only by the Colts and Patriots. And while those two teams hit the quarterback lottery (in dramatically different ways), the Ravens have spent virtually that entire time frame with a question mark at the game's most important position. It's a testament to just how impressive the Baltimore defense has been over that time, of course, but Baltimore's consistent success in the 21st century starts with the brilliant work done by their front office, as led by general manager1 Ozzie Newsome.
In prior Grantland columns, I've tracked the history of work produced by less-successful general managers and found that they usually break down into a few obvious trends and blind spots that prevent them and their teams from advancing further. I wanted to research Newsome's history to try to see what trends and decision-making styles marked his tenure with the Ravens, in the hopes of finding some best practices to recommend to the league's weaker franchises. In doing so, though, I found that Newsome doesn't really have the sort of obvious affectations that stood out with the lesser GMs. In fact, it's the opposite: Newsome's tenure is defined by how many different ways the Ravens try to acquire talent and improve their organization. They do some things that are absolutely worth noting, but in the long run, they get the most important thing right: The Ravens truly understand how valuing players has to work in tandem with evaluating players.
Go back to their selection of Joe Flacco in the first round of the 2008 draft, one that came after a rare disappointing season for the Ravens, who had the eighth pick in the first round. As Judy Battista wrote the following year, the Ravens loved Flacco and wanted to take him, but graded him out as a player worth taking toward the end of the first round. Despite the undeniable pressure to take the guy they wanted at their biggest position of need when he was available with the eighth pick, the Ravens traded down to the 26th pick2 and acquired two third-rounders and a fourth-rounder. Baltimore was prepared to wait until their pick came up at 26 to draft Flacco, but owner Steve Bisciotti pleaded long enough with Newsome and got him to move up to the 18th pick by trading one of the third-round picks he had just gotten and a sixth-round pick. In the end, Baltimore got their guy and a pair of midround draft picks to improve their defensive depth. A bad organization would have been terrified of the unknown, taken Flacco eighth, and lost out on the opportunity to acquire another meaningful contributor or two in the process while overdrafting a player because he was at a position of need. That simply doesn't fly in Baltimore.
Go back further. Start with Newsome's first draft, when he had one of the best first rounds in league history. During Bill Belichick's last draft with the Browns in 1995, he made what would be a classic Belichickian draft-day move: He traded a good draft pick now for a premium haul later, by dealing the 10th overall pick to the 49ers for the 30th overall pick in that year's draft, third- and fourth-round picks, and San Francisco's first-round pick in the 1996 draft. That left Newsome — who studied under Belichick after his Hall of Fame career ended and took over the front office when the team moved to Baltimore — two first-round picks to work with, selections nos. 4 and 26. All he came away with was two Hall of Famers. Newsome resisted the urge to take halfback Lawrence Phillips with the fourth overall pick and instead selected Jonathan Ogden, who moved to left tackle after his rookie season and anchored the Baltimore line for the next 11 seasons. Then, with the 26th pick, he found a leader for his defense who stuck around for quite a while: Miami middle linebacker Ray Lewis. The only other draft class from that decade that is likely to produce two Hall of Fame players would be that of the 1995 Buccaneers, who took Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks with their first two picks. Think about that for a second: Newsome took will-be Hall of Famers with his very first two decisions on draft day. Can you drop the mic after a draft pick?
As good as Ogden was, it's hard to argue with the idea that Newsome's two most memorable draft picks were Lewis and Ed Reed, who share plenty of similarities. Obviously, they're both prospects out of The U, where they were defensive leaders and four-year starters. They're both athletically gifted, but even when they were younger, they each seemed to be blessed with preternatural instincts for breaking down plays and knowing what the offense is going to do before they actually do it.
It's easy to forget in 2013 that neither pick was a sure thing. There were doubts that Reed would go in the first round because he played the relatively less valuable position of safety, while Miami cornerbacks Phillip Buchanon and Mike Rumph were expected to go ahead of him in the first round. Buchanon was selected 17th, seven picks ahead of Reed, who went to the Ravens at 24th, three picks ahead of Rumph. Scouts raved about Reed's instinctiveness and production at school, but wondered about his size and his inconsistency as a tackler. Lewis had a roughly similar reputation; Mel Kiper's 1996 Draft Report notes that Lewis "became a leader of the Hurricane football team on and off the field" while pointing out his ability to pursue and tackle through trash, speed, and instincts. On the other hand, Kiper also noted that Lewis was "not the type who will stuff inside running lanes by taking on a 300 pound guard," adding, "Lewis prefers more of a finesse game, although no-one will ever question his toughness or determination to get to the ball-carrier."3
Whenever you hear about a player approaching the top 10 or even the top five in the draft at middle linebacker or safety, you'll often hear their skills and unique talents compared to guys like Lewis or Reed, despite the fact that Lewis and Reed themselves weren't drafted anywhere near that high. It speaks to both how the league values middle linebackers and safeties and how effective Newsome and his team were at scouting talent. Lewis and Reed were taken right around the point at which they were expected to come off the board, but instead of reaching for a player at a sexier position or one at a more pressing position of need, Newsome instead went for the best available player on his board, trusting that the talent would prove to be more important than the positional value. Obviously, he was right.
What separates Newsome from Belichick, though, is how much more likely he is to be aggressive and trade up for a particular player on draft day, even if it costs him picks. That hasn't always worked out. Remember that 1996 draft that started off with two Hall of Fame picks in the first round? Newsome had a player targeted in the second round and went after him by dealing three midround selections to move up to the 55th pick. That player? DeRon Jenkins, who didn't live up to expectations as an occasional starter at cornerback. In 2003, Newsome grabbed Terrell Suggs with the 10th overall pick in the draft, but nine picks later, he decided to deal back into the draft and pick up his quarterback of the future. He sent New England his second-rounder and his first-round pick in the 2004 draft to pick up Kyle Boller.4 Boller's failure to develop eventually stalled the organization and forced it into a 6-10 season in 2005. It was Newsome's worst pick, but his abilities outside of those ill-fated moves have always been enough to excuse those sorts of mistakes.
One of the biggest reasons why Newsome has been able to get past the occasional misstep has been the organization's ability to find talent in the later rounds and among undrafted free agents. The haul of undrafted free agents that the Ravens have brought in is actually staggering once you put it together, even if the players in question didn't always find their biggest success with Baltimore. The most notable of those players is three-time All-Pro Priest Holmes, who won a Super Bowl with the 2000 Ravens before becoming a superstar in Kansas City. The Ravens nabbed him in their 1997 haul of undrafted free agents alongside center Mike Flynn, who eventually moved into the starting role in Baltimore and became a regular on their offensive line for eight seasons. Flynn's presence on the roster forced the team to cut an undrafted center who had latched on in Baltimore after two months in 1998; that center eventually caught on with the Colts, which is where Jeff Saturday ended up making six Pro Bowls and winning a Super Bowl title as Peyton Manning's pocket protector. The list is even more impressive on the defensive side of the ball, where Baltimore found Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Will Demps, and Bart Scott as undrafted free agents in 2002 alone. Those three players have combined for 279 regular season starts and counting. More recently, Jameel McClain and Dannell Ellerbe have made their way into starting roles after going undrafted, while Baltimore managed to find one of the best kickers in football this past season — Justin Tucker — in the free talent pool last May. Newsome did more with his undrafted free agents than Matt Millen did with actual draft picks during their shared time as general managers.
Noticeably, Newsome and the Ravens are very smart about how they value those players and treat the acquisition opportunities available to them. Battista's article talks about how the Ravens waited until the fifth round to draft safety Dawan Landry during a time when Baltimore had only one safety on the roster. When Bisciotti fretted with each safety coming off the board, Newsome calmed down the owner and promised they would end up with a safety when a safety was the best available player on the board. That was Landry, who immediately stepped in as a starter alongside Reed and played effectively during his four-year rookie contract. When that deal ran out, the Ravens didn't treat Landry like a precious object because they'd drafted him and gotten good value out of him; knowing that they had the best safety in football playing the other spot, they let Landry leave in free agency and trusted that they would be able to find another player on an undervalued deal to play alongside Reed. That was Bernard Pollard, who annually gets one-third of the guaranteed money Landry got on his new contract from the Jaguars. Likewise, the Ravens happily let inside linebackers like Ed Hartwell and Bart Scott hit free agency and replaced them with the next player they drafted in the late rounds or signed off the scrap heap. Bad organizations find even the tiniest diamond in the rough and treat that diamond like it's a testament to their brilliance; good organizations like Baltimore realize that there are probably more diamonds where that one came from and keep searching.
After all I've told you about how well the Ravens scout and develop players, you might mistake them for the rival Steelers, a team that has built its roster almost exclusively upon homegrown drafted-and-developed talent for decades. Newsome's Ravens do the D&D thing well, but they're way more interesting than that. More than just about any team in football, Baltimore is an active team in terms of acquiring veteran talent, often from organizations that can't afford to keep the player on their rosters. As a result, Baltimore has derived significant value from many of these trades. When Boller failed to launch, the Ravens dealt a fourth-round pick to Tennessee for Steve McNair, whom the Titans had been shopping for months after drafting Vince Young. He tided things over for a year and led the Ravens back to the playoffs. They dealt third- and fourth-round picks to Arizona for Anquan Boldin and a fifth-rounder, giving Boldin the contract extension he sought in the process. Another trade brought Willis McGahee to town for two third- and one seventh-round pick, and while the contract Baltimore gave him turned out to be excessive, McGahee was a back on whom the Bills had burned a first-round pick several years earlier. Baltimore even thought they had a deal for Terrell Owens when they agreed to send a second-round pick to the 49ers for T.O. in 2004, only for Owens to protest the deal because of a contractual loophole and eventually end up in Philadelphia, where he nearly led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory.
Newsome has also been more active in free agency than your typical draft-and-develop GM. Outside of deals for Michael McCrary, Sam Adams, and Domonique Foxworth, many of those contracts have been for players who were in their thirties and considered to be past their prime. Baltimore has managed to keep those players healthy and productive contributors, though, long after their sell-by date. Shannon Sharpe, Tony Siragusa, and Rod Woodson all served in key roles on the 2000 Super Bowl–winning team, while Derrick Mason and Trevor Pryce became regulars in Baltimore during the latter half of the decade. In addition to Pollard, the current Ravens have gotten competent work from left tackle Bryant McKinnie during the 2011 season and in these 2012 playoffs, which represents good value for the two-year, $7.5 million deal he signed before last season. And their best cornerback during the playoffs has been former Bears backup Corey Graham, who was signed primarily for his work on special teams; Graham will make about $1.3 million this year and be an integral part of the Super Bowl game plan on defense.
You can draw a vague outline around these plans and present them to an owner as a list for what a general manager should do, but a bad general manager would screw them up. Trade your draft picks for veteran players who want contract extensions? Sign old guys in free agency? Trade up for a quarterback when you want one? That sounds like the work of an awful GM, not a brilliant one. What makes it all work for Newsome and the Ravens is that he knows when to make the unconventional move and trusts that the scouting done by his front office is accurate. The Baltimore front office is full of people who graduated through what Newsome calls the 20-20 Club, the entry level in the Baltimore personnel department that pays twentysomethings little more than $20,000 per year. The guys who made it through the 20-20 Club, as Battista notes, have grown from being lowly interns designated to drive players to and from the airport into valuable personnel executives and scouts. One generation of scouts teaches the next, and by the time they grow up, they know exactly what the Ravens look for from a player in any given position. The Ravens also don't subscribe to either of the independent scouting services (BLESTO and National Football Scouting) that the vast majority of the league's teams use, so there's no influence from outside sources who don't take Baltimore's specific schematic concerns and player-evaluation credos into account.
And that all brings me back to the two buzzwords from earlier: valuing and evaluating. Because the vast majority of NFL general managers come from a scouting background, they're comfortable with the talent evaluation side of the job. Properly valuing the information you have and putting the player in context, though, is arguably even more important. Baltimore has used Newsome's ability to properly value talent to acquire superstars at the end of the first round, trade for veteran talent at below-market value rates, and churn undrafted free agents in the right positions while saving (or reallocating) millions of dollars in the process. Baltimore's big secret might just be that they don't have a big secret. They simply take the two most fundamental processes that a football team needs to focus on and execute them better than anybody else in the league. That's why they're playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday, and why Newsome is among the best general managers in league history.


Weekly Poop 1/30/13

Roost #44 Poop
  • Dates to Remember:
  • Tonight – A special Super Bowl Edition of Ravens Rap, 7 pm, The Blue Ox. New improved menu items and plenty of beer will be on hand. Steve has ordered additional T-Shirts, so any members that showed up at The Ox for last week's game and did not get one, send Eileen your name and size so she can get the info to Steve. No fair sending your size if you were not there!! The front bar at The Ox will be open to the public starting at 4pm for the big game this week. The back Ravens Room will open at 5pm for our private party.

  • Saturday, – Water Conservation Group Meeting @ Dead Freddie's, 2 pm. RAVENS PEP RALLY – WEAR YOUR COLORS. Nelson Kelly will be there to lead the cheers! Water conservation will be in full effect.

  • Sunday - Super Bowl Party at Blue Ox
    Starts: 5 P.M.
    Cost: $25 per person
      MENU:
        On Tables:
        Pretzels
        Chips
        Out on arrival:
        Cheese and Veggie Tray
        Buffalo Chicken Dip
        Crab Dip
        Half Time: (Tables to be randomly called)
        Wings
        Chicken Tenders
        Pork BBQ with Mini Rolls
        Meatballs
        Pasta with white and red sauce
        Green Salad
        Steamed Shrimp (To be portioned out on plates)
        Hamburgers with fixings
        Bratwurst
        Sauerkraut
        Cole Slaw
        Potato Salad
        Desserts
        Brownies
        Lemon Jello Cake
        Strawberry Shortcake
        Beverages
        1 keg each of Miller and Coors Light
        Iced Tea, Coffee, Soda
        All other alcohol will be charged to individual per Happy Hour prices.
  • Saturday, April 13, 2013 – Ravens Roost #44 3rd Annual Charities Benefit Dance featuring the band TRANZUSION. Location: Ocean City Elks Lodge Hall, 137th Street Bayside. $25 pp includes: Beer,Wine, Chips/pretzels, Door prizes, Money Wheel & Cash bar. Tickets available from either: Ron Apperson 37899 Swann Drive, Selbyville, De 19975, 302-436-4790 or 410-952- 9756 cell, ronapperson@msn.com, or Mary Kendall, 302-934-7210, mkendall@mchsi.com
  • Dues due: Dues ($30 per member) are to be paid by the February meeting. You may pay at the meeting, or mail a check to Ravens Roost 44 to: Jo Ann Elder, 126 Pine Tree Rd., Ocean City, MD 21842. Thank you.

  • Roost Apparel: The next "apparel store" time for touching, trying on and otherwise fondling the merchandise will be at the next meeting on February 14th. You can also call Maggie at 410-208-2756 or email her millermaggie@mchsi.com to make arrangements for pick up and payment at her home if you'd like a shirt or jersey before then. The prices for the Ox, Raven and Turtle character shirts are: $15 (short sleeved in purple, dark gray and ash and a variety of sizes from med to 3XL). The sweatshirts are gone - sorry! The purple Roost 44 jerseys are still available in a variety of sizes and they cost $35. Show your spirit around town!

Ravens Poop
  • The Ravens are going to the Super Bowl, Sunday, 6:30 pm. I think the pregame started awhile ago!

  • Good news notes and nuggets from Sarah Ellison’s Blog here. It’s getting to the point where I can hardly stand ESPN, but I do go Jamison Hensley’s Blog here to stay up to date with all of the AFC North news.
Local Poop
  • Sunday - Superbowl Sunday Scramble 2013, Eagles Landing. Tailgate party with 18-hole Scramble Tournament. Scoring done in traditional football manner awarding points for touchdowns, field goals, extra points & penalizing for safeties. Game starts at 10 a.m., giving you time to watch the big game later in the day! Tailgate Party at 9 a.m. Ticket price is $50 per player, which includes green fees, cart and tailgate party. Prizes will be awarded for winning teams. For more information and to sign up, call 410-213-7277.

Funny Poop
  • On a tour of Texas, the Pope took a couple of days off to visit the coast for some sightseeing. He was cruising along the beach in the pope-mobile when there was a frantic commotion just off shore. A helpless man wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey was struggling frantically to free himself from the jaws of a 25-foot shark.

    As the Pope watched, horrified, a speedboat came racing up with three men wearing Baltimore Ravens jerseys. One quickly fired a harpoon into the shark's side. The other two reached out and pulled the bleeding, semi-conscious Steelers fan from the water, then, using long clubs, the three beat the shark to death and hauled it into the boat.

    Immediately the Pope shouted and summoned them to the beach. "I give you my blessing for your brave actions," he told them. "I heard that there was bitter hatred between Steelers & Ravens fans, but now I have seen with my own eyes that this is not true." As the Pope drove off, the harpooner asked his buddies "who was that"?

    "It was the Pope," one replied. "He is in direct contact with God and has access to all of God's wisdom."

    "Well," the harpooner said, "he may have access to God's wisdom, but he doesn't know anything about shark fishing. Is the bait holding up O.K., or do we need to get another one"?

Etcetera
  • Got poop? Let me know! I’m going to try to get this out every Wednesday so if you get it to me by Tuesday I’ll try to include it. Your input is appreciated.

  • Be sure to visit our website @ www.ravensroost44.com or our blog @ http://ravensroost44.blogspot.com/ for the latest news, notes and nuggets.

  • Life is short. Focus on the good.


Frank


Baltimore Ravens, let’s go
And put that ball across the line
So fly with talons spread wide
Go in and strike with Ravens pride
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Ravens dark wings take flight
Dive in and show them your might
For Baltimore and Maryland
You will fly on to victory


Monday, January 28, 2013

The Long Arm of the Law

Nice article from the New York Post on Joe Flacco's upbringing...


Flacco’s cannon has been firing long-range missiles for years


AUDUBON, N.J. — Back in the spring of 2003, long before Joe Flacco was a Super Bowl-bound quarterback, he was a high school senior on his class trip to All-Star Sports in Disney World.
A group of students gathered on the football field.
“Joe, of course, had a football in his hands,” said Betsy Kirkbride, who teaches marketing at Audubon High and was one of the chaperones on the trip. “Other boys start gathering from other schools, other states. So we say to the other kids, ‘Want to see something?’ ”
The bait was on the hook.
“Joe rolls his eyes, looking at us, humoring us, two chaperones looking for bragging rights,” Kirkbride said with a smile. “Joe doesn’t say a word and throws the football 70 yards … straight through the uprights.

Rich Schultz
HERE’S THE DEAL: Mark Deal coached Ravens QB Joe Flacco at Audubon H.S. in New Jersey.
“One step; tight spiral. The other kids are just standing there, saying, ‘Who is this?’ ”
This is Super Joe Flacco.
The football world is beginning to understand what they always knew about Joe Flacco in this small South Jersey town, near Philadelphia. The Ravens quarterback has a golden arm and a perfect, unflappable winning makeup that critics still don’t understand.
Flacco acts the way an NFL quarterback should act. He has taken his Ravens to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans to face the mighty 49ers. Along the way, he has beaten two quarterback legends in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady at their football homes.
“I like to tell people, look, man, we raised him to be a CEO, not a carnival act,” Joe’s father Steve said of Joe’s disposition. “You’re a quarterback, why would you want anybody ever see you sweat? And when you throw a touchdown pass, act like you’ve done it before.”
On the field, Joe Flacco is CEO of the Ravens’ offense. Cool, calm and collected. You could say he is unflaccable.
“We laugh because people don’t like Joe’s disposition. Well, we love his disposition. We’re responsible for it,” Steve said of how he and his wife Karen raised Joe. “You always want to carry yourself with class and dignity. You never want to get upset. We don’t like it when teammates yell at each other on the field.
“If you’re angry, that shows you’re melting down.”
Talk to Steve Flacco for five minutes, and his passion for football explodes. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and played football and baseball at Penn. Karen was an excellent athlete as well. Joe is the oldest of six children in this athletic family. His brother Mike is a first baseman in the Orioles organization. Joe’s youngest brother Tom is a quarterback at Eastern High in Voorhees and is expected to be a Division 1 quarterback.
Joe, 28, is gifted with size (6-foot-6, 232 pounds) as well as that golden arm.
“I never dreamed Joe would be as big as he is,” his dad said. “I’m 5-11; my wife is 5-6. If you shake his hand, his right-hand is Godzilla-like. He never really lifted weights. That’s all from throwing a football.
“Physically, there is nobody who throws the football better than he does, and his height helps because under center he is looking through those guys’ helmets and not their backs and shoulder pads. Height helps in terms of vision, and vision is probably 90 percent of what they do.”
“We’re so happy for the fans in Baltimore,” he said.  Steve said this season has been a dream come true.
The Flacco family tree stems from football. Joe’s grandfathers not only were high school football teammates at Camden Catholic, his grandfather Joe (known in the family as “The Original Joe Flacco’’) was an end who caught passes from Joe’s mom’s dad, quarterback Tom Madden. They graduated in 1954.
“I keep telling Joe when you see John Madden you have to tell him you are related,” Steve said with a chuckle.
As for that long pass trick, Steve would take Joe to the football field and from 50 yards away have Joe aim at the crossbar and the uprights.
“Sometimes Joe would hit them three out of five from that distance,” Steve said.
For the first three years of high school, Flacco was coached by Mark Deal, who remains a close family friend and will be traveling to New Orleans with his wife Paula along with the Flacco contingent, including all the grandparents.
In Flacco’s senior season, Deal moved to coach Gateway Regional High because budget cuts eliminated his in-school job at Audubon. That year, before the game between Audubon and Gateway, the coach and his former quarterback were having a friendly chat at the 50-yard line when Flacco pointed to the flag at the top of the right upright, a la Babe Ruth, and said, “Watch this coach.”
“Now, remember, he’s 50 yards away, the end zone is another 10 yards and it’s the top of the upright, about a 75-yard throw,’’ Deal said, still amazed at the memory. “Joe took one step, threw it, and darned if he didn’t hit the top right upright.”
Now you know why Flacco was able to throw that 70-yard strike to Jacoby Jones so easily over the heads of Broncos defenders in the final seconds of regulation in the Ravens’ stunning double-overtime Divisional round upset in Denver.
In his senior season at Audubon, Ralph Schiavo coached Flacco and let the football fly. Flacco still holds the South Jersey record for passing attempts (55) and yards (471) in a game. He was the tidal wave in the Green Wave, but he was much more than the star player.
“He had a calming effect on everybody,” Schiavo said. “When we’d call a timeout, Joe would have three or four intelligent suggestions.”
Flacco is the only quarterback in NFL history to win a postseason game in each of his first five seasons and is regarded as the best deep thrower in the game.
“He’s such a competitive guy, very fiery inside,” said Deal, who attended the playoff win over the Colts then went back to Flacco’s house after the game. “Joe was talking about the plays he didn’t make, not all the plays he made. That’s what he is all about. That’s how he gets better. It’s unbelievable to me that some people don’t believe he’s an elite quarterback. I think that bothers him a little bit.”
“If that’s not elite, I don’t know what is,” Deal said, also pointing to those five straight years of postseason victories.  Flacco has thrown eight touchdowns this postseason with zero interceptions.
Since coming into the NFL in 2008, no quarterback has won more games than Flacco.
Every summer Flacco comes back to speak at Deal’s football camp.
“He hasn’t forgotten where he has come from,” said Deal, now the coach at Clearview Regional High School.
Family and friends go to every home game in Baltimore. They used to go to out to dinner as a group (as Joe would patiently sign autographs for fans). After Joe and his wife Dana, whom he started dating his senior year at Audubon High, had their first child, Steve, named in honor of Joe’s dad, this past June, the dinners now take place at their house.
“Joe is really a super guy, and his family are all such good, decent people,” Paula Deal said.
Noted Steve with fatherly pride: “Joe’s a great kid. All our kids are great kids. We’re so fortunate.”
There is a playful side to Joe, too. At one of those postgame dinners, Flacco and tight end Dennis Pitta, Joe’s close friend, egged on one of Joe’s younger brothers with a small financial incentive to eat as many ├ęclairs as he could before getting sick to his stomach.
Yes, brothers always will be brothers, even if one is an elite NFL quarterback.
Speak to the teachers and administrators at Audubon High and this is what you hear about Joe: quiet, dependable, self-confident. Flacco excelled in three sports: football, baseball and basketball.
Gregg Francis has taught history for 36 years and was impressed by Flacco.
“Joe was an excellent student,” Francis said. “I used to call him ‘Biceps’ because he was skinny at the time. He’s a proud kid, who was a great athlete. He had the size and the speed. He could have been a major league baseball player, too.”
Superintendent of Schools Don Borden was the principal of Audubon when Joe attended the school.
“Joe is the same kid that you see on TV, unflappable,” Borden explained. “I remember one time a kid threw something in the cafeteria, trying to get something started, and it went right past Joe and Joe looked over at the kid, like, ‘What the heck are you doing?’ Joe didn’t react at all, whereas another kid might have flipped out.”
Then came these special words from Borden: “Joe is the kind of kid you hope your kid grows up to be.’’
Flacco played safety, too, in high school. His dad taught him to use his long arms to horse-collar opponents, which you could get away with back then.
“We used to call him the ‘Long Arm of the Law,’ ” Steve said. “He’d yank them out of their shoes.”
Drive through town and you see purple Ravens flags flying from front porches.
“This town is going to be crazy through these next two weeks,” Schiavo said.
Joe Flacco is beloved here, and Betsy Kirkbride remains one of Joe’s biggest fans.
“I wish they would give him the props he deserves,” she said.
When Flacco was drafted by the Ravens she immediately called the NFL and ordered a Ravens’ jersey. The sales person said, “He hasn’t even picked his number.”
“He’ll be No. 5,” Betsy said.
No. 5 was Joe’s number at Audubon.
When you watch this Super Bowl, and if there are any casual fans around, repeat the words Betsy Kirkbride said to those students standing on that football field nearly 10 years ago in Florida.
Want to see something?
Watch Super Joe Flacco throw that football.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Weekly Poop 1/23/13


Roost #44 Poop
  • Dates to Remember:
  • Friday, – Water Conservation Group Meeting @…
  • Wednesday, January 30 – A special Super Bowl Edition of Ravens Rap, 7 pm, The Blue Ox.
  • Sunday, February 3 - Super Bowl Party at Blue Ox
    Starts: 5 P.M.
    Cost: $25 per person
    MENU
    On Tables:
    Pretzels
    Chips

    Out on arrival:

    Cheese and Veggie Tray
    Buffalo Chicken Dip
    Crab Dip

    Half Time: (Tables to be randomly called)

    Wings
    Chicken Tenders
    Pork BBQ with Mini Rolls
    Meatballs
    Pasta with white and red sauce
    Green Salad
    Steamed Shrimp (To be portioned out on plates)
    Hamburgers with fixings
    Bratwurst
    Sauerkraut
    Cole Slaw
    Potato Salad

    Desserts

    Brownies
    Lemon Jello Cake
    Strawberry Shortcake

    Beverages

    1 keg each of Miller and Coors Light
    Iced Tea, Coffee, Soda
    All other alcohol will be charged to individual per Happy Hour prices

    Note: Money due by January 25, 2013
    Make checks payable to - Ravens Roost #44

    Money will be collected at the January meeting or you can mail a check with names of those attending to:
    Janet Rosensteel
    19 Briarcrest Drive
    Ocean Pines, Maryland 21811

    Janet's Phone # 410-641-6187
  • Saturday, April 13, 2013 – Ravens Roost #44 Dance. Details soon.
  • Dues due: Dues ($30 per member) are to be paid by the February meeting. You may pay at the meeting, or mail a check to Ravens Roost 44 to: Jo Ann Elder, 126 Pine Tree Rd., Ocean City, MD 21842. Thank you.
  • Roost Apparel: The next "apparel store" time for touching, trying on and otherwise fondling the merchandise will be at the next meeting on February 14th. You can also call Maggie at 410-208-2756 or email her millermaggie@mchsi.com to make arrangements for pick up and payment at her home if you'd like a shirt or jersey before then. The prices for the Ox, Raven and Turtle character shirts are: $15 (short sleeved in purple, dark gray and ash and a variety of sizes from med to 3XL). The sweatshirts are gone - sorry! The purple Roost 44 jerseys are still available in a variety of sizes and they cost $35. Show your spirit around town!

Ravens Poop
  • The Ravens are going to the Super Bowl! The Ravens beat Lady Brady and the Patriots 28-13 to win the AFC Championship. Now, two weeks of glorious hype til Super Bowl 47, 6:30 pm.
  • Good news notes and nuggets from Sarah Ellison’s Blog here. It’s getting to the point where I can hardly stand ESPN, but I do go Jamison Hensley’s Blog here to stay up to date with all of the AFC North news.
Local Poop
  • Nothing happening this week. Rest up for February 3!

Funny Poop
  • In a Detroit church one Sunday morning, a preacher said, "Anyone with 'special needs" who wants to be prayed over, please come forward to the front by the altar."

    With that, Leroy got in line, and when it was his turn, the Preacher asked, "Leroy, what do you want me to pray about for you?"

    Leroy replied, "Preacher, I need you to pray for help with my hearing."

    The preacher put one finger of one hand in Leroy's ear, placed his other hand on top of Leroy's head, and then prayed and prayed and prayed. He prayed a "blue streak" for Leroy, and the whole congregation joined in with great enthusiasm.

    After a few minutes, the preacher removed his hands, stood back and asked, "Leroy, how is your hearing now?"

    Leroy answered, " I don't know. It ain't 'til Thursday."

Etcetera
  • Got poop? Let me know! I’m going to try to get this out every Wednesday so if you get it to me by Tuesday I’ll try to include it. Your input is appreciated.
  • Be sure to visit our website @ www.ravensroost44.com or our blog @ http://ravensroost44.blogspot.com/ for the latest news, notes and nuggets.
  • Congrats to all of our election winners!
  • Life is short. Focus on the good.
  • RIP Earl Weaver. You created the Oriole Way, and we are all grateful for it.


Frank

Baltimore Ravens, let’s go
And put that ball across the line
So fly with talons spread wide
Go in and strike with Ravens pride
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Ravens dark wings take flight
Dive in and show them your might
For Baltimore and Maryland
You will fly on to victory