Baltimore sports fans have many reasons to be thankful

November 24, 2010|Kevin Cowherd

As we celebrate another Thanksgiving with the requisite gorging and football-watching and eventual nodding off in the recliner, it's clear that Baltimore sports fans have much to be thankful for.

Be thankful the Ravens are 7-3 and that both Derrick Mason and Joe Flacco seem to have developed amnesia about their little dustup in the Ravens' 37-13 win over the Carolina Panthers.

Here's something I don't get: At least a dozen Ravens fans who were in Charlotte last week have contacted me to say, yeah, I saw the whole thing. Mason grabbed Flacco's facemask, the two were really going at it, had to be separated, etc.

And not one of you fans snapped a photo of the incident?

Not one of you shot any video?

What are you using those cell phones for? To talk to each other?

Wow, how retro is that?

Be thankful, too, Ravens fans, that you're still watching the greatest middle linebacker of all time.

Sure, Ray Lewis has lost a step or two. But he's still playing at a high level. He's still the heart and soul of this team. He's still a playmaker who makes devastating hits and key interceptions and sets the tone for the Ravens defense.

On the other hand, the man continues to torture us with those goofy Old Spice commercials.

I saw the one with the talking bear the other day. The talking bear who, um, chases Ray down the field during a game. Who told No. 52 this was a good career move?

Be thankful Orioles manager Buck Showalter has finally finished assembling his coaching staff for next year, a process that took only slightly less time than the building of the pyramids

Whatever happened to the whole thing being wrapped up in a couple weeks?

Now the Orioles need to go out and make a big splash in the free-agent market. Andy MacPhail, their president of baseball operations, says they were in the hunt for Victor Martinez, the slugging catcher/first baseman who just signed a four-year, $50-million deal with the Detroit Tigers.

The O's offered Martinez only $2 million less, which is a wild and crazy move by their standards.

But this has to be good news for the fan base, even if the Orioles didn't land the guy they wanted. Now they need to set their sights on another slugger and do whatever it takes to sign him. Which probably means over-paying him, but what can you do?

Pull the trigger, Andy. Make something happen. Do it for your long-suffering fan base. And for God's sake, don't do it on the cheap this time.

Let four words guide you in your search: No more Garrett Atkinses.

Be thankful the Maryland men's basketball team will be fun to watch again this season, no matter where they finish in the ACC.

Sure, those losses to No. 4 Pitt and No. 13 Illinois at New York's Madison Square Garden stung last week. But the good news is, the Terps were in both games until the very end.

And they clearly have some exciting players. Sophomore big man Jordan Williams keeps getting better and better in the paint. Senior forward Cliff Tucker can hit from the outside and create shots for himself inside.

And the two freshmen backup guards, Terrell Stoglin and Pe'Shon Howard, are tough and athletic. Both are excellent at slashing to the basket and locking up their man on defense.

Here's the bad news for the Terps, though: Duke is scary good again this year, super-talented and deep.

Did you see the top-ranked Blue Devils demolish No. 4 Kansas State Tuesday night? They looked like the Boston Celtics.

And how about K-State coach Frank Martin? Is he a wild-man or what?

Stomping around the sideline, glaring at the refs, screaming at his players and dropping F-bombs everywhere?

Never thought I'd say this, but he makes Gary Williams look like Deepak Chopra.

Be thankful, too, Terps fans, that the 7-4 Maryland football team is headed to a bowl game this season. And you hope it isn't another bowl out in the middle of Idaho or Utah or wherever the last one was.

Coach Ralph Friedgen has to be thankful that his team's turn-around this season saved his job.

By the way, we keep seeing those Medifast commercials that tout the Fridge as having lost 105 pounds.

But a source close to the Terps told me Friedgen isn't as "hardcore" about the diet as he once was, and that he's gained back quite a bit of the weight.

Then again, who isn't going to gain a ton of weight after Thanksgiving?

kevin.cowherd@baltsun.com

(Listen to Kevin Cowherd Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with Jerry Coleman on Fox 1370 AM Sports.)

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