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: 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

flacco-money-fall 728
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...

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

Tucker celebrates
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

patstd
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!

suggs_strips_brady
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

-acf2567c33563829
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?

flaccosnow
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

ad2
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...