About Joe Polek

Joe Polek

Joe Polek was born in Baltimore, MD, and was raised in Bel Air, MD. In 2001, he moved to Portland, Maine for a job in radio. In 2012, he moved to Columbia, SC for another gig in radio, where he currently resides with his wife, Nicole, and their two daughters. Joe is a huge sports fan, but most importantly he lives and breathes Baltimore (and Maryland) sports. He routinely gets back to Baltimore for a Ravens game once a year, and while living in Maine, went to Foxboro and Fenway whenever the Ravens or Orioles came to town. A couple of his highlights were being at the final game at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, and also sitting in left field for “2130”, and “2131” (Cal Ripken’s consecutive game streak). Find Joe on Twitter at @JoePolek.

Brick by Brick Ravens Build an A+ Offseason

ice-up
The Baltimore Ravens have quietly put together an A+ off-season and we haven’t even gotten to the draft yet. In just a couple of weeks, the Ravens have given out about $44 million in guaranteed money while keeping 4 players (Eugene Monroe, Dennis Pitta, Jacoby Jones, Daryl Smith) and grabbing another (Steve Smith). Those are all players that most fans would have said the Ravens needed to get and yet Ozzie Newsome was able to get them at great prices. According to Jamison Hensley none of them rank among the...

In Ozzie We Trust!

Ozzie The Wizard 600
I met a guy, randomly, this weekend in South Carolina and when I found out he was from Baltimore and also a Ravens fan, we both instantly looked at each other and said “In Ozzie We Trust!” (Coincidentally, today is Ozzie’s birthday – Happy Birthday, Wizard of Oz!) The Ravens had just signed wide receiver Steve Smith and it was one of those contracts that just makes you wonder how Ozzie does it. Before Smith could go meet with New England, Seattle or other potential suitors, the Ravens signed him...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Ravens Off to The Pokey

jail-bird
Reality: Three Ravens were arrested within 22 days over the last month. Perception: For a team that has been known as trash talkers or loud mouths, this is not the image Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh want to portray. Jah Reid was arrested on two misdemeanor battery charges and Deonte Thompson was charged with suspicion of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Being arrested is never “minor” but since those players are not big stars, they probably will be swept under the rug and not much will be made of it....

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: A 42-Yard Extra Point? Sounds Good!

Tucker celebrates
Reality:  The NFL Salary Cap was raised to $133 million for 2014, and the Ravens are currently a bit more than $20 million under it (pending details of Dennis Pitta’s deal, per our own Brian McFarland.) Perception: The Ravens are being sticklers with exactly how their money is spent this off-season… and that’s a good thing. The Ravens freed up nearly $5 million in salary cap space by cutting Vonta Leach and Jameel McClain. Ozzie Newsome said there might be the opportunity for the Ravens to re-sign both of them, but that’s...

PERCEPTION IS REALTY: Plenty to do this Offseason

Ozzie Newsome
Reality: The Ravens have 13 Unrestricted Free Agents and two Restricted Free Agents. Perception: There are two Unrestricted Free Agents that everyone is talking about… Eugene Monroe and Dennis Pitta. Yes, the Ravens need to do everything in their power to sign both of them to multi-year deals. But there are at least two other players that I think are a “must sign”… that’s James Ihedigbo and Daryl Smith. This defense has had so much turnover the past couple of years that they need some consistency. Ihedigbo and Smith were...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Super Bowl XLVIII Edition

Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos
Reality: The #1 Offense has played the #1 Defense five times in the Super Bowl. The #1 defense has won four of those five. Perception: I tweeted before the Super Bowl that I thought Seattle would win because “Defense Wins Championships.” I know that’s an old saying but it still rings true even in the modern day “passing league” NFL. When you have a suffocating defense, it can stop anyone, even the most prolific offense in NFL history. With that defense, Seattle will have a chance to be real good...

The Debate Continues…2000 Ravens or 2012 Ravens?

Shannon Sharpe (2nd L) of the Baltimore Ravens out
With Super Bowl Sunday upon us, it got me thinking about the two Ravens championships… 2000 and 2012. Which one is your favorite? (Vote here) The 2000 Ravens team finished 12-4, but it still wasn’t good enough to win the division. However, before realignment, the top Wild Card got a home playoff game. Though they didn’t win the old AFC Central that year, their first playoff game was at home against Denver. After that, they went on the road to Tennessee and Oakland before facing the Giants in Tampa for...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Get Ready for an Exciting New Offense

Flacco Last Laugh
Reality: The Denver Broncos are the 8th team to break the NFL scoring record during the regular season. Perception: Believe it or not, none of the previous seven teams that broke the record went on to win the Super Bowl. There is a chance Denver could be the first, but it won’t be easy. Their #1 offense is going up against the NFL’s #1 defense. Plus, the last team with the best record during the regular season to win the Super Bowl was the Patriots back in Super Bowl XXXVIII,...

Today Should Be “New Offensive Coordinator Day” in Baltimore

kubiak
Today should be the day – the day that the Baltimore Ravens announce their new Offensive Coordinator.  Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted at 9 AM ET that former Houston Texas head coach Gary Kubiak and former Texans OC Rick Dennison met with the Ravens over the weekend.  He also said that Kubiak is now the favorite to be the Ravens OC. A few minutes later, Schefter tweeted his thought that the Ravens are looking at a star-studded coaching staff that would include former Redskins OC Kyle Shanahan. Former Texans HC Gary...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: A Steelers Coach About to Turn Purple?

kirbywilson
Reality: On Tuesday, John Harbaugh announced four candidates to be the next Ravens offensive coordinator. Perception: Ravens coach Jim Hostler, former Redskins coach Kyle Shanahan, and former Lions coach Scott Linehan have all interviewed for the position, as has Steelers running back coach Kirby Wilson. Hostler led the 49ers offensive for one season with results that were not impressive. Wilson has not been a coordinator but has been an offensive coach for over a dozen years in the NFL. Shanahan and Linehan have led good offenses that were very pass happy. According...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Changes Are Coming in the NFL

Goodell Bisciotti
Reality: The NFL is looking to add another game to its slate of Thursday Night Football games. Perception: John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal says the NFL is shopping a 1-year Thursday night deal to broadcast networks that would start this September. ABC/ESPN, CBS, NBC, and Fox have all made bids on the extra Thursday night game, but those bids have not been made public, so we won’t know probably until after the Super Bowl, as they get closer to releasing the full NFL schedule next year, later in...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Ravens Wise to Look Outside for O.C.

kubiak
Reality: Peyton Manning has been “one and done” in the playoffs eight times… most by any quarterback in the Super Bowl era. Perception: After Sunday’s victory, that number will remain the same. We are privileged to be watching two of the best quarterbacks to every play the game, play during our lifetime. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning truly are two of the best ever. But the perceived difference is interesting. Ray Lewis said, “When you think about Peyton Manning, you think about numbers. When you think about Tom Brady, you...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: “Q” Still a Hot Topic as 49ers Move On

q49ers
Reality: The Ravens traded Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers a year ago, an unpopular move in Baltimore.  Perception: GET OVER IT! Samuel Njoku, who covers the Ravens for the Examiner and CBS Baltimore tweeted a number of thoughts Sunday that speak the truth: “You guys know Anquan Boldin wouldn’t have had this kind of success in Baltimore, right? And you do realize that Ravens would still be at home with Boldin on the roster, right?” “There’s a good chance that if you had Boldin, you wouldn’t have Marlon...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: The NFL is Still King!

Roger Goodell
Reality: 34 of America’s 35 most-watched fall TV shows were NFL games. Perception: An NFL game was the most watched TV “show” of the week all 17 weeks of the regular season. It really makes me believe that the NFL will add more wild card games next season for the simple reason that it means money, and America just can’t get enough football. I mean think about it. Game 7s are supposed to be the biggest thing in sports, yet a Broncos-Chiefs regular season game got higher ratings than Game...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Home Field Advantage is an Oxymoron

Dalton takes field in Cincinnati
Reality: The Wild Card games averaged 34.7 million viewers… making it the most-watched Wild Card Weekend ever. The 49ers/Packers was the most-watched Wild Card game ever, averaging 47.1 million viewers. Perception: The NFL continues to be the biggest thing in America. It doesn’t matter who plays or what day of the week… the NFL wins the TV ratings battle every week. And what’s even more remarkable is the demos it wins… all of them! Men, Women, Young, Old… the NFL is the most watched anything on television. The NFL can...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Blackouts Need to Go the way of the Dodo

packersfans
Reality: The Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, and Indianapolis Colts were each given a second extension to sell the remaining tickets that are available for their home playoff games, to avoid a local TV blackout. Perception: The NFL is the most popular thing in America. Fox’s TV ratings are the highest in 20 years and CBS’s are the highest in 19 years. Sunday Night Football on NBC is consistently the most watched “show” on TV each week. Football is here to stay, but has the transition been made from going...

FRANCHISE QB’s: You’ve Gotta Pay to Play

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The Chicago Bears signed quarterback Jay Cutler to a 7-year deal worth more than $126 million and includes $54 million in guaranteed money. When you look at what the Bears just gave Cutler for a contract, it brings to mind the contract that Joe Flacco signed last off-season with the Ravens. So let’s compare the two… Before I begin, I need to be honest with you. I began to write this article with the mindset that the Bears were idiots and that Cutler was terrible and in no way compared...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: It’s The Most Blunderful Time of the Year

michael_oher_2009_08_13
Reality: Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce had 366 carries for 1,096 yards and 6 touchdowns. Perception: That’s an average of 3 yards per carry for our top 2 running backs. That is not good enough. Midseason Ray Rice kept saying he was healthy, but after John Harbaugh came out and said he wasn’t 100%, Rice started saying he was working towards getting healthy. Now he says he’s ready for a full off-season and will be ready to prove himself next season. In my opinion, Pierce looked stronger than Rice all...

Still a Great Time to Be a Ravens Fan!

Flacco The Lombardi
This team did to each of us today what they had done to us every game this season. They gave us hope, only to take it away moments later. The 2013 Baltimore Ravens season ended with an 8-8 record. After all that happened after last year’s Super Bowl Championship, 8-8 should be considered a success. I mean think about it… they lost more starters than any championship team in history, and yet still nearly made the playoffs. The Ravens were outscored 75-24 in their final two games. They lost eight...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Franchise-Low in Rushing Yards All But Certain

Rice Bengals 2013
Reality: Since 2008, the Ravens are 4-1 in Week 17. Perception: The only loss was last year in Cincinnati, when Coach Harbaugh pulled the starters because they were not needed. Overall, the Ravens have won 10 of their past 13 season finales. To me though, this stat is meaningless. Nothing before this season matters. Every year is a different team and this year is no exception. The stats that mean more are ones that show how this year’s team is trending. Reality: The Cincinnati Bengals rank higher than the Ravens...