About Mike Fast

Mike Fast

I was born and raised in Baltimore. But after a year at York College of Pennsylvania, I transferred to Towson University. At York and Towson, I hosted various radio shows, wrote for the school paper, spoke on a panel RE: college game day presentation at IBS conference in Manhattan and was a public address announcer for multiple sports. Since 2012, I've been able to cover the Ravens during their training camp as well as work for Johns Hopkins during their home men's lacrosse games. A life-long goal was realized when I got to attend Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans and witness the Ravens triumph over an excellent 49ers team. What an experience! If you choose to do so, follow me on twitter: @MikeFastJr.

Nickel Package: Bengals a Historically Tough Match-up

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The last time these two teams met was in Week 1 in Baltimore. The Bengals made five field goals to start the game, and although the Ravens responded with a Steve Smith, Sr. touchdown, they only held a 1-point lead for 48 seconds. Historically, playing the Bengals (particularly on the road) has been as tough of a game as any for the Ravens. All-time, Baltimore is 7-11 when playing in Cincinnati. Here’s what to look for on Sunday.   Hurst and Urschel James Hurst and John Urschel have done an...

Week 8: “America’s Team” Keeps Rolling

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If Sunday night’s game was any indication, Peyton Manning might possibly have thrown 700 touchdown passes by the time he’s finished playing. Going by his career average of 2.01 passing touchdowns per game, Manning would have to play in every game from now thru Week 5 of the 2020 season, when he would be 44 years old. That seems far-fetched, but what accomplishments of his haven’t seemed far-fetched? Other impressive performances last week included that of Aaron Rodgers (who, like Manning, left the game early due to gaining such a...

The Nickel Package: Week 7 vs. Atlanta

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Isn’t it funny how many thought the Falcons got the best quarterback in the 2008 draft when they selected Matt Ryan over Joe Flacco? But whether it’s their head-to-head match-ups, playoff resumes or performances last week, I consider Flacco to be the better player. For those who discount the “postseason wins” argument, that’s foolish. How can you dismiss the difference between a 9-4 postseason record (Flacco) and a 1-4 postseason record (Ryan)? These two have more in common besides their draft class. They were born 42 miles apart, they played...

Two-Minute Drill: Week 7

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What makes a good team? In the NFL, it starts with being above-average in the following categories: quarterback, head coach, defense, and camaraderie. Everyone in this league is talented, but which group of men is committed to each other to the point where they’ll keep pushing for that extra yard or that next tackle in order to ensure victory? As in any sport, it’s wise to reserve definitive assessment of a team until most of (if not all) of the season has been played out. That said, we’re still able to...

The Nickel Package: Week 6 at Tampa Bay

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When the Ravens clash against the Buccaneers this Sunday, the game should be closer than most think. Baltimore (3-2) seems to have a better team than Tampa Bay (1-4), but this series has been about as even as any the Ravens have played in. Each of these teams has won twice. Each of these teams has shut the other one out. The combined score in this series: Tampa Bay 57, Baltimore 54. The Ravens have won the last two meetings, but this game is on the road against somewhat of...

Two-Minute Drill: Week 6

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It’s Been a Crazy Season How is it Week 6 already? The NFL season is wildly entertaining, partially because so much goes on in a comparably short time span than that of other sports. Here are a few bullet points that describe how the 2014 season has unfolded to this point: The Ravens, despite Sunday’s loss to the Colts, are a good team that looks like they’ll peak in December (as usual). Thursday Night Football games define the word lopsided. The winners have outscored the losers, 205-60. Is Dez Bryant...

The Nickel Package: Week 5 at Indianapolis

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The last time the Ravens played the Andrew Luck-led Colts, Ray Lewis was taking a farewell victory lap around M&T Bank Stadium on January 6, 2013. Luck did not have a particularly good performance in that game (28 for 54, 288 yards, 1 interception) as he was pressured all day. The Ravens kept the Colts out of the end zone despite giving up 419 yards. Anquan Boldin was the star for Baltimore (5 receptions, 141 yards, 1 touchdown) that afternoon. This time around, Lewis and Boldin are gone, and Luck...

Two-Minute Drill: Week 5

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Though 75 percent of the NFL season has yet to be played, identities of teams are starting to form. By now most teams aren’t as good as they will be, but time for excuses is running out. Players and coaches are going to have to dig in and brace for the brunt of the season, because at this point, there’s no turning back. They must overlook their mistakes, penalties, injuries, and missed opportunities in order to move on to their next opponent. Of the five teams on this list, four...

The Nickel Package: Week 4 vs. Carolina

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After this game, one team will have a  3-1 record and will be on pace for a strong season. The other team will be 2-2 and will have to fight that much more to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. This is a big game for the Ravens for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that starting next week, they’ll begin an 8-week span in which they’ll play just two home games. Here are five things to watch for on Sunday afternoon....

Two-Minute Drill: Week 4

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First and foremost, the NFL is not the BCS. Style points don’t matter. Only wins matter. The Ravens won on Sunday and are in second place as they near the “quarter pole.” Sure the victory left some things to be desired, and yes, Billy Cundiff helped the Ravens out by not converting two field goal attempts. But, shouldn’t second-guessing be reserved for the losing team? One thing to definitely be happy about is the play of Baltimore’s special teams. The Ravens coaches, too, showed their prowess in deciphering what the...

The Nickel Package: Week 3 at Cleveland

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When the Ravens hit the road this week, they won’t be playing the same old Browns. These Browns took the Steelers to the brink in Week 1 and just beat a very talented Saints team. Brian Hoyer, according to John Harbaugh, is “the best quarterback they’ve had in a number of years.” After Sunday, Baltimore will have already played half of their divisional games. It’s not a must-win game for them, but it’s a game they won’t want to lose. Two divisional losses within the first three weeks of the...

Two-Minute Drill: Week 3

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While it’s still a bit too early to start evaluating teams, trends are beginning to form. Philadelphia looks like a good team but they need to break their habit of getting behind early. San Francisco is also quite talented, but if they don’t fix their coverage issues, what happened against the Bears on Sunday night will continue to occur. Baltimore had a resounding win last Thursday night, but can they carry the momentum of a win over to the next game–something they’ve been unable to do in the past? By...

The Nickel Package: Week 2 vs. Pittsburgh

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It’s Steelers Week! Any true Ravens fan will tell you they consider this to be the biggest game of the year for them. Let’s not waste any time. Here are five things to look for on Thursday night. Who will Webb cover? According to the Ravens’ final Week 2 injury report, Lardarius Webb is questionable with a back injury. However, on Tuesday he told the press, “I’m ready to get it going.” If Webb does play, who will he cover? That’s a no-brainer — shadow Antonio Brown just as Jimmy...

Two-Minute Drill: Week 2

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A lot has happened within the first week of this NFL season. The Seahawks “are who we thought they were,” the Giants look hopeless, Mike Zimmer was a superb hire by the Vikings, and Buffalo had every reason to fold at Chicago (underdog, head coach controversy, road game against a very good team) but didn’t. On the home front, we saw the Ravens get dictated to by the Bengals. Cincinnati came into Baltimore’s house and pushed them around. Eventually the Ravens got their act together and took a late fourth-quarter...

The Nickel Package: Week 1 vs. Cincinnati

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Sunday’s game between the Ravens and the Bengals could go a long way in determining the 2014 AFC North championship, if history is any indication. Since 2009, four of the five AFC North titles have gone to either Cincinnati (2009, 2013) or Baltimore (2011, 2012). All signs point to Sunday’s game being physical, chippy, close and exciting. Here are five things to look for in this game.   Joe Flacco’s performance In 11 career games against the Bengals (not including the 2012 road game in which he barely played), Flacco...

Two-Minute Drill: Week 1

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Six months ago, the Seahawks ran roughshod over the most prolific offense in NFL history. But as dominant as Seattle was that night, they have to do it all over again if they want to be called champions again. Each of the other 31 teams will get their shot at winning a Super Bowl, and their collective quest starts this week. Beginning Thursday night, we’ll get to see what this year’s Seahawks team look like. Then on Sunday, we’ll see what Dallas is made of as they take on San...

2014 AFC North Preview

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In six days, M&T Bank Stadium will be rocking as the Ravens begin their 2014 season in front of what is sure to be another sell-out crowd. Four days later, though, Baltimore will play in what is sure to be a highly-emotional, closely-contested prime time match-up against Pittsburgh. From there, they’ll welcome the three extra days to recover as they go on the road to face an up-and-coming Browns team, now under the tutelage of former Ravens outside linebackers coach Mike Pettine. During their first 15 days of the 2014...

Can The Ravens Win Without Ray Lewis?

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Entering its 19th season, the Ravens organization has established a high standard. It expects to win, in the regular season and in the postseason, and it has done just that. Since 1996, Baltimore’s overall record is 172-136-1 (55.7% winning percentage). Besides Ozzie Newsome, Kevin Byrne and a few others, Ray Lewis was the only remaining original Raven until he retired in February 2013. Jonathan Ogden (12 years) and Matt Stover (13 years) were original Ravens too and played major roles in helping Baltimore win its first Super Bowl since 1970, but the...

Do Pro Football Players Deserve Privacy?

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When you see someone in public that you’ve previously only seen on a television screen, you’ll generally experience feelings of shock, thrill and nervousness. In many cases these people have accomplished great feats in sports or entertainment. In other cases, something happened to them (self-inflicted or otherwise) that resulted in great detriment to their capital or reputation. Either way, seeing a celebrity excites us. This fact alone has kept tabloids in business for years. The response becomes particularly intense when that person is someone that has created positive, lasting memories...

Ravens Coaching Staff Is Among The Very Best

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When the University of Maryland men’s basketball team won the national championship in April 2002, it was a tremendous accomplishment. They fought through the toughest conference there was and knocked off perennial powers during the NCAA tournament. In my opinion, that team was successful because each person on the team and the coaching staff was a perfect fit for their specific role. They didn’t try to mask deficiencies. They could give their all because they knew where they were was a perfect fit. Steve Blake was a true point guard....