Street Talk - The latest street talk and Baltimore Ravens related News from the Russell Street Report Team.
Lombardi’s Way - A column from the 24×7 founder that focuses on the Ravens, the NFL, Baltimore, the world of sports or life’s inspirations.
Word on The Street - In the spirit of the CBS Sports Minute with Boomer Esiason, RSR brings you Word on The Street, a 90 second (or less) podcast on topics exclusively relating to the Baltimore Ravens.
Ravens Links - We’ll give you the best stories about the Ravens from around the web three times per week.
The Fanimal - If you are an animal about the Baltimore Ravens, then you are a Fanimal! Follow the Russell Street Report blog Fanimal Crackers!
The Edgar Awards - The Edgar Awards will range from the Maryland county that is home to the best Ravens fans to the best Ravens podcast; from the best collection of displaced fans to the best local craft brews that should be part of your next tailgating party.
The Road to RSR - Our writers explains their journeys as fans and how they came to write for our little corner of sports media.
NFL Network misses the extra point on Ravens OTA coverage
A little birdie told me the NFL Network was showing a one-hour program on the Ravens OTAs last week so I decided to give the show an extra special look. I guess it all depends on what you are looking for, but when I hear NFL Network I expect qualityâ€¦not so on the Ravens OTA coverage.
I tried to look at this program from the perspective of your average fanâ€¦not a person who has every player on the roster and their career stats memorized. I asked myself what would be helpful for that type of fan when watching this program.
NFLN opened the show with some nice beauty shots of the facility before dissolving into a 2-shot of the co-hosts. It was clear from the start the bulk of the show was going to be the hosts talking about the Ravens new faces, returning starters and the 2007 season outlook over video footage of team drills. This is about what I expected, but I think it could have been much more creative and informative for most fansâ€¦.hereâ€™s what I mean.
Many of the shots of the team working on red zone drills and the two-minute offense had lots of players wearing unfamiliar jersey numbers. I found myself asking to know who these guys were. An easy solution for this would be if the program showed a couple graphics with the current roster at the beginning of the show; or they could use the scroll at the bottom during the show. Think of when you were watching the draft coverage and how much information was being delivered on the left side of your TV screenâ€¦this type of show lends itself to that same format for data display.
The co-hosts discussed the starters that left and the ones returning in 2007. But never did I see any stats on the players that left. How many sacks and tackles did Adalius Thomas have last year? What were the numbers on Jamal Lewis? The show did do a decent job of showing where the Ravens ranked in team offensive and defensive categories, but they neglected to show any stats about the returning starters other than Steve McNair. I was hoping to see a graphics on who led the team in tackles, sacks, interceptions, rushing yards, receptions and touchdownsâ€¦and got nothing. The show just felt a little incomplete to me from a purely informational perspective.
Before going to commercial they bumped the next segment called â€œRick Neuheisel wiredâ€. This was the biggest let down of the entire show. All we heard was a few rah-rahs and a couple Zen-like pieces of advice from the coach. In a nutshell it was boring!
The show ended on interviews with Ed Reed and Ray Lewis which I did enjoy because it was evident they were both jacked about the team and the upcoming season.
All in all I didnâ€™t think the show was a total loss, but for a whole hour on a non-contact OTA I figured the NFL Network could have done better.
Gametime needed to whack â€œThe Sopranosâ€ talk
Was last weekend the final episode of some TV show called â€œThe Sopranosâ€? I hadnâ€™t gone longer than 15 seconds all week without hearing about it on radio or TV. But I didnâ€™t expect to hear about it so much while listening to â€œGametimeâ€â€¦that cool show about Ravens football.
I covet my two hours of â€œGametimeâ€ each week as much as Paris Hilton covets diamonds. There was so much talk about â€œThe Sopranosâ€ final episode I thought I was listening to Entertainment Weekly. Tony, you were killing me man! I understand that you are a fan and had fun discussing the topic, but it got a little out of hand when it found its way into every conversation for most of the show. We donâ€™t want to start calling you Tony Marks now do we?
Good thing Rob Long doesnâ€™t vote on the MLB HOF ballot
Itâ€™s OK to be homer sometimes when talking about local pro players. And at times itâ€™s even expected to hear sportscasters say things that lead you to believe theyâ€™ve been chugging the orange or purple Kool-Aid a little. But last week Rob Long of WNST who is generally very balanced when he opines, must have been stinky blitzed on a Mike Mussina margarita when he said the former Orioles pitcher was a first ballot hall-of-famer in his opinion.
Mike Mussina is a very good pitcher that has had a long, productive career. But in NO way is he a first ballot HOF. Mussina has never won 20 games or a Cy Young award. How many of you would put Mussina in the same breath as Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux or Randy Johnson? Rob, time for some coffee before you drive home.
More MASN musings
I flipped over to MASN to catch some Orioles post game on Friday night hosted by Tom Davis and Davey Johnson. It was surreal to see Davis wearing a dark blue shirt, dark blue tie and dark blue suit. I wasnâ€™t sure if he was a big Blue Man Group fan, auditioning for a part as a Blue Meanie in the Yellow Submarine or if was going for the Papa Smurf look.