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 @JPonSports.

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

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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...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: What’s it Say When the Kicker is Voted MVP?

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Reality: Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, 41-7, was the most lopsided loss for the Ravens since John Harbaugh took over as head coach. Perception: It was not pretty. But there really are no excuses for it. The Ravens played on a “short week” since they played last Monday and then Sunday, but plenty of teams do that throughout the year. Harbaugh said the short turnaround “was a legitimate factor” in the team’s poor performance. But if that’s true, this team has bigger issues. The Ravens played on four days rest...

Ravens Thoroughly Outcoached and Outplayed in Embarrassing Loss

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We should have seen this coming. Last week, nearly every “expert” or analyst picked the Lions to win, including most of the Baltimore writers. The Ravens thrive in that role… underdogs and disrespected. This week, nearly everyone picked the Ravens to take down the Patriots… I mean everyone. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before, in regards to the Patriots. No one predicted the Patriots to win. How strange is that? But that should have been a foreshadowing of today’s events. The Ravens once again came out flat in...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Something’s Gotta Give!

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Reality: The Ravens are currently the #6 seed in the AFC playoff race, but have a chance at the #2 or #3 seed by winning the AFC North. Perception: Since Week 10 of this year, the Ravens are 5-1, tied with only the Cardinals and Panthers for the best in the NFL. Baltimore has won four in a row to control the #6 seed and are within one game of the Bengals for the AFC North title. If the Ravens beat the Patriots at home and win in Cincinnati, they...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: When Ugly is Beautiful

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Perception: Mark Zinno of 105.7 the Fan and others have said “You can’t win the Super Bowl without scoring touchdowns”. Reality: That’s incorrect! In 2000, the Ravens went five games in a row without scoring a touchdown, but also went on to win the Super Bowl. Yes, it’s hard to do, but to say that the Ravens can’t win this year’s Super Bowl the way they won Monday night is just wrong. When you have a very solid defense, an offense that does just enough, and the best kicker in...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Big Mouth = Matt Elam?

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
Reality: The Ravens /Patriots game next week was scheduled to be the Sunday Night game on NBC at 8:30pm. But NBC used their option to “flex” the Eagles/Bears game into that spot, moving the Ravens game to 4:25pm on CBS. Perception: Everyone thinks the NFL is just trying to stick it to Baltimore again. But this is more about rules in the NFL TV contracts than anything else. If you look at the NFL schedule right now, there doesn’t appear to be a Sunday Night Football game. However, the NFL (not NBC)...

Thank You Brandon Stokley!

Buster Skrine, Brandon Stokley
On Tuesday, the Ravens placed wide receiver Brandon Stokley on Injured Reserved, ending his season, and possibly his career. If I may, I’d like to take a moment to recognize #80. Listen, I know that Stokley is not a Hall-of-Famer or even a Pro-Bowl player. But I’m a huge fan. Stokley was drafted by the Ravens out of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the 4th round (105th pick overall) in the 1999 NFL draft. He was a memorable part of the 2000 Ravens team that won the Super...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Did That Really Just Happen?

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Reality: Until Sunday, 5 Touchdowns had never been scored in the final 2:05 of a game in the history of the NFL. Perception: Wow. That is all you can say about the ending to Sunday’s Ravens game. Take one look at John Harbaugh on the sidelines at the end of that game and you know how crazy it was. He was speechless and nearly had no energy. He just hugged another coach in stunned silence and exhaustion. The game featured the shortest span featuring five combined TDs in the last...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Ravens Better Be Prepared to Tackle “All Day” Long

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Reality: The Top 6 teams in the AFC playoff race are combined 31-5 at home. Perception:  More so than in any other sport, in football there is a real home-field advantage. If the playoffs started today, the AFC playoff teams are 31-5 at home. Their 5 losses? The Rams, Chargers, Dolphins, Packers, and Broncos. That stat to me shows how much more important it is that the Ravens somehow win the division, so they can get a first-round home game in the playoffs. Reality: The Baltimore Ravens trail the Bengals...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Mr. Automatic

Tucker v Steelers
Reality: Mike Tomlin said crowd noise was a factor Thursday night on the botched field goal by the Steelers. Perception: The thought is that Suisham couldn’t hear cadence properly and started too soon, which resulted in the bad play. I was at the game Thursday, and it was stinkin’ cold! But I thought the crowd did a really good job of being loud, even with being all bundled up. It’s days later and I still am hoarse… and I’m okay with that. Reality: In the 3rd Quarter, on 3rd down...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Flacco Trashes The Wildcat

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Reality: Joe Flacco had a QB rating of 137.5 when the Jets didn’t blitz Sunday. When they did, it dropped to 16.7. Perception: I think this says more about the offensive line than it does Joe Flacco. Give Joe time and he is really effective. Give him little or no time and he struggles. It just goes to show how important a strong offensive line means to this team being successful. Let’s hope that the offensive line that we saw against the Bears shows up against the Steelers. Reality: Justin...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Once Again it Comes Down to the Steelers

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Reality: The New England Patriots were down 24-0 at halftime and came back to defeat the Denver Broncos 34-31 in OT. Perception: On the surface it appears the Broncos were dominant in the 1st half and the Patriots were dominant in the 2nd half. But that wasn’t totally the case. The amount of miscue’s goes to show that there are no truly “great teams” in the NFL. Even two of the teams with the best record play sloppy football and can be beaten. With the weather turning colder, you’ll see...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Ugly Fits The Ravens

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Reality: Ed Reed is coming back to Baltimore for the 2nd time this season as an opponent. Perception: Did you see how Indianapolis treated Peyton Manning when he returned to Lucas Oil Field this year? I wish Baltimore would have received Reed the same way when he came as a member of the Texans. But now, we have a second chance. Ravens fans did a great job of yelling “REEEEEEEEEED” throughout the game against Houston, but I would love to see the Ravens organization do more to celebrate the future...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Season On the Brink

Joe Flacco, John Harbaugh
Reality:  Quarterback Joe Flacco’s accuracy percentage on deep balls is 22.6%… that is the worst in the NFL. Perception:  The last two weeks, as I watched the Ravens game, I remember saying to myself “throw it down field!!” Yes, I understand Flacco has not been as accurate on the deep balls as he was last year, but you are more likely to get a catch or pass interference on a long throw than just an incomplete pass. With an offense that’s not moving, throwing it down field more often might...

Despite Loss Ravens Still in Playoff Mix

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I love my Ravens and will cheer them on, even if they were 0-15. But today’s game was just another example of the struggles this team has. They have moments of greatness and then in the next moment, they will look just awful. The Ravens have had 5 losses by a total of 17 points. They’d had 6 games decided by 3 points or less, and have lost 4 of them. In other years, they Ravens win the close games… not this year. This team had some really nice drives...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Even Non-Conference, a Huge Game in Chicago

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Reality:  The Ravens have produced at least two sacks in 17 straight games, which is the NFL’s longest such streak. Perception:  This is a major reason why the Ravens are even in the playoff discussion. The defense has come to play and Sunday was an incredible performance (sans the Hail Mary). The amount of pass deflections at the line and the number of pass knockdowns by corners were something I haven’t seen by a Ravens defense in a long time. It was enjoyable to watch this team play defense on...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Joe Flacco, Like a Rock!

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Reality: In the 2nd half Sunday, the Ravens had 6 possessions that resulted in just 35 yards. Perception: 5 punts and an interception. Really? You are at home and you can only generate 35 yards of offense? That is simply unacceptable. It is simply amazing that they won the game at all. Reality: The Ravens had the 3rd lowest total yards in an overtime victory in NFL history. Perception: This goes right along with their 2nd half. After mixing up the play calling in the first half, they went into...

Thanking our REAL Warriors

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Every Sunday, we cheer on our favorite football team as they play hard to try and win a championship for their city. However, too many times we relate what they do to what our military is doing and has done. We use words like “fight”, “battle”, “trenches” to describe what they are doing. We talk about players as if they are “warriors” and “hero’s”. But they are not. Yes, they do put their body through a lot for our entertainment and they work hard to be the best they can...
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