Like many of you, I was born and raised in Baltimore. I’ve always lived in the metro area and I understand the town’s quirks, uniqueness, history and the collection of characters that give Baltimore and its ethnic neighborhoods such charm. I also understand the inferiority complex we share when compared to Philadelphia and New York to the north and DC to the south. That in part is why we feel such civic pride when one of our own takes the national spotlight. But there are exceptions.
Enter Jason La Canfora…
Now before I chronicle his lengthy history of Twitter disasters (and I’m sure that I’ll be missing several gaffes), let me address a few criticisms directed at me as it relates to the torturous Inside Access on 105.7 The Fan. I’ve been told that I’m obsessed with La Canfora and his sidekick Ken Weinman. I’ve also been accused of being the bearer of sour grapes given my difficult relationship with the station. I won’t sling mud at those accusations. They are reasonable responses, albeit inaccurate.
My disdain for the program lies in the fact that I believe we all deserve better. Yes, I get that there are many quality podcasts available and that Sirius/XM offers a more intelligent brand of sports talk. But sometimes, while driving about, you want to listen to local and live sports talk radio and despite giving this pairing more chances than the Ravens gave Miles Boykin, and despite the insatiable appetite to hear such programming, I just can’t listen anymore. And that places a bigger burden on the other programs while doing a disservice to the station’s customers.
La Canfora is a Baltimore native. He’s the kind of celebrity that this town would usually get behind. Yet he’s so perplexing, so confrontational and such a confluence of contradictory takes that in the end make it hard to take him seriously. He’s from Baltimore yet has such high disdain for the Ravens, GM Eric DeCosta and owner Steve Bisciotti. He’s been ostracized at The Castle yet claims to be an “insider” who relies primarily upon agents who use him for their own material gain, truth-in-information be damned. He’s from Baltimore yet once claimed to be a diehard Red Sox fan but now, apparently he’s hopped bandwagons and is in on the Orioles’ in full force. He lauds the O’s despite their ownership that is as sincere as a loathsome politician yet scorns the Ravens, one of the best organizations and cultures in professional sports.
Here are a few of the things that make La Canfora such an inviting target for critics both local and afar.
This from an interview with BostonSportsMedia.com
“Despite growing up in Baltimore, [Jason La Canfora] is a rabid Boston Red Sox fan. How does a kid from Baltimore end up part of Red Sox nation? “It’s kind of lame, I agree, but I promise I am not a bandwagon, jumper.” He explains: “I was sitting out at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore in the mid-80s with my Roger Clemens jersey on. Sadly, The Rocket’s ascent was a big part of why I was drawn to Red Sox nation, and since he’s left I’ve never been able to stomach the man. But his 20 strikeout game was a big deal for me – I was 12 at the time – and the Sox obviously went on an amazing run that season and I shed many a tear during the ’86 ALCS – my dad ran upstairs, while I was crying into a pillow – to tell me about Hendu’s homer. And then Games 6 and 7 of the World Series, well, I still can’t watch highlights of Ray Knight and Mookie Wilson and Jesse Orosco throwing his glove in the air without feeling ill.”
During the summer of 2013, Jason La Cantankerous got a bit chippy with Jacksonville Jaguars fans, warning them that the Jaguars were strong candidates to move to London. When CBS recently parted ways with the alleged insider, Jags fans got the last laugh. Their team outlasted La Canfora.
— Matthew (@RealMBB) June 8, 2022
Days at The Post
Before La Canfora was hired as an insider by NFL Network he was a reporter with the Washington Post covering the Redskins. La Canfora’s relationship with the team wasn’t a good one (sound familiar?). His favorite targets when criticizing the team were owner Dan Snyder and GM Vinny Cerrato (sensing a pattern?). Cerrato stonewalled La Canfora labeling him “unprofessional” and “devious” while La Canfora in return made it known, repeatedly, that Cerrato “declined to comment”. It was La Canfora’s way of regularly throwing shade on Cerrato.
Rumors surfaced that Snyder’s influence helped La Canfora get the job with NFL Network just to get him off the beat in DC.
I wonder if Jason uses the back door to get in the studio at The Fan in order to avoid crossing paths with Cerrato?
When doctor’s identified a genetically flawed vertebrae in Zach Orr’s neck, it forced the promising linebacker into an early retirement. The Ravens hosted a presser to announce the somber news. But La Canfora’s “sources” thought the presser was intended to announce an Orr contract extension.
Hearing Ravens made considerable progress with LB Zach Orr on a new contract. They have a press conference scheduled for Fri. May be related
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 20, 2017
Until Ian Rapoport cleared the air for curious onlookers…
#Ravens star LB Zach Orr is retiring because of a serious injury, sources say. Heart-breaking. Team couldn’t talk him out of it.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 20, 2017
This wasn’t the first time that La Canfora and Rapoport clashed. A little less than a year prior, La Canfora heard from others that Rapoport had allegedly been sharing some less than flattering things about the CBS Insider and La Canfora, never one to back down from a Twitter sparring, shot back without at least first confronting Rapoport privately.
Nothing good happens on Twitter after midnight…
@RapSheet keep my name off your lips. Always. Remember this. I know you will
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 27, 2016
More Sparring With Media Members
Rapoport isn’t the only one who has been on the receiving end of La Canfora’s scorn. He’s had at least one blow up via Twitter with ProFootballTalk.com‘s Mike Florio during which Florio insinuated that La Canfora was nothing more than a pawn for agents.
In 2017 respected beat writer for the Carolina Panthers, Paul Kuharsky, someone who was always a willing participant on sports talk shows that I’ve hosted, took a jab at La Canfora’s reports of Jon Bon Jovi’s interest in buying the Panthers. La Canfora eventually fired back the following Tweets that he would later delete (after Kuharsky grabbed screen shots):
Mutual Parting of Ways
Ravens and John Harbaugh headed to parting of the ways. But no in-season firing being mulled https://t.co/tzxGenSJYE
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 11, 2018
In the story written for CBSSports.com, La Canfora shared the following:
The Baltimore Ravens and John Harbaugh are very likely headed to a “mutual parting of the ways” in 2019, sources said, but the former Super Bowl winning head coach is not in any jeopardy of an in-season firing, contrary to some recent speculation.
The odds of Harbaugh being back in Baltimore in 2019 are quite bleak, according to several sources close to the situation, with next year set to be the final year of his contract. There will not be another one-year extension forthcoming, I’m told (Harbaugh agreed to such a deal prior to last season to avoid a looming “lame duck” season), and with rising general manager Eric DeCosta set to take over for Ozzie Newsome after the season, and the Ravens facing a possible roster overhaul, there is a strong sense that these sides will be moving on amicably.
We all know how this one ended…
La Canfora on Watson
Recently La Canfora was a guest on 93.7 The Fan and he was asked to share his thoughts on the Deshaun Watson saga.
“I don’t know if Deshaun Watson is ever going to play with the Cleveland Browns,” La Canfora said. “If he is told to sit on the sidelines for a year, what more comes out during that year?”
Baltimore deserves better than The Fan.
But apparently The Fan isn’t a fan of Baltimore.