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: 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...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Flacco Trashes The Wildcat

Steelers Ravens Football
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

Flacco throw against Steelers 2012
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

Flacco sacked by Jets
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

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 7.13.47 PM
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

soldier
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!

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 3.03.13 PM
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

Military Cover
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...

THE MORNING AFTER: Reaction to Ravens v. Bengals

highlights131110
Yesterday was one of those games… one of those games that makes you wonder why you do this to yourself every week. It was just an AWFUL football game. I was screaming at my TV so much that I scared my two daughters and my dog, as well as lost my voice! The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Bengals in overtime to extend their season… for now. They had to win yesterday to even have a chance at making the playoffs and they did that. But they still have a long...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Running Through Molasses

Green Bay Packers v Baltimore Ravens
Reality: The Baltimore Ravens rank 29th in the NFL in rushing offense with just 71.6 yards per game. They rank 32nd in average yards per carry at 2.8 per game. Perception: Did you see that? 32nd! There are 32 teams in the NFL. So the Ravens have the lowest rushing yards per carry in the NFL! This is the same team that has had a proud history of running backs that were tops in the league at one time… like Earnest Byner, Jamal Lewis, Priest Holmes, Eric Metcalf, Willis McGahee…...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Ravens Closer to #1 Draft Choice than to Playoffs

ricecrushed
Reality: Baltimore is 3-5 and off to its worst start since 2005. Perception: You can blame the bad record on the loss of 10 players from the Super Bowl Championship team, but I don’t believe that’s it. What is it? Who knows, but they are just not good. The offensive line can’t run block and create holes for the backs. They can’t pass block and give Joe Flacco time to pass. The receivers aren’t getting open and are dropping too many passes. Flacco is definitely haven’t an off year with...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Offense Needs to Support Stingy Defense

Suggs Dolphins 100613
Reality: The NFL Trade Deadline was Tuesday and only 1 trade was made. Perception: There was more talk surrounding this year’s deadline than ever before… but that may have been just a result of social media and the hype that it brings. The Ravens were never in any serious talks with any teams. And they were NEVER looking at Larry Fitzgerald, as many fans dreamed about. It was just that – a dream. This isn’t Fantasy Football. There are many more things that need to come together besides just agreeing on a...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Ravens Dial 0 For Long Distance

Flacco goes deep Super Bowl
Reality: The NFL Trade Deadline is 4pm EST tomorrow. Perception: The NFL Trade Deadline usually passes with no one knowing that it even happened. But the NFL pushed back the deadline 2 weeks to create more opportunity for a trade to happen. There are a lot of names that are said to be “available”… Jared Allen, Larry Fitzgerald, Hakeem Nicks, Josh Gordon, Anthony Dixon, Kenny Britt, Jarius Byrd, Greg Little, Jon Baldwin, Jason Babin. But the chances that many of those “big” names get moved are slim. Contracts and the...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Break Out the Scuba Gear

Ray Lewis
Reality: The Baltimore Ravens were given $130,000 to promote the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” Perception: Technically, the Ravens were given $130,000 by the Maryland Health Connection to do advertising for them. The Maryland Health Connection decided to “make fans aware of the new opportunity they have for health coverage beginning this fall through health insurance marketplace.” So, NO, The Ravens did not “push” Obamacare. Another business bought advertising and decided they would make their advertisement about the new health care law. That’s like Pepsi buying advertising with the Ravens...

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Floundering Ravens in Unfamiliar Territory

Harbaugh looks at clock
Reality: The Baltimore Ravens are 3-4 heading into their Week 8 bye. Perception: The Ravens need to go 7-2 the rest of the way to make the playoffs. It’s doable, but that means they have to right the ship and not drop any more three-point games. Finishing 7-2 means beating Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Minnesota, the Jets, and Bears. The only two losses they can have are against New England and in Cincinnati. But if they really want to make the playoffs, they need to sweep the division the rest of...

Coaches, QB not to Blame for Ravens Woes

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 3.49.34 AM
I will never understand the “fan” standpoint that the guy on the bench (or out of a job) is better than what the team has now. Fans in Houston are calling for an undrafted quarterback to start over their Pro Bowl QB. [Some] Fans in Baltimore want to bench their Super Bowl MVP and fire the winning-est coach in the NFL over the last 5 years. Do you really think that an inexperience Tyrod Taylor is going to help this team? Let me clue you in… NO! The issues this...

Formula 4 Failure: 54 + 9 = 1 Loss

Harbaugh Ray Rice
If your team produced the following plays, how would you feel? * On 1st down, gain of 5 yards * On 2nd down, gain of 3 yards * On 1st down, gain of 3 yards * On 1st down, gain of 1 yard * On 1st down, gain of 5 yards * On 1st down, gain of 1 yard * On 2nd down, no gain   Yes, the no gain and gain of 1 yard are not good, but if you can gain 5 yards on 1st down, and 3...