1. Ravens-Steelers rivarly
Ravens lose in the playoffs to the Steelers in January, igniting months and months of talk about whether Joe Flacco will ever be an elite quarterback and if Cam Cameron is the right offensive coordinator for him. Ravens get a measure of revenge by sweeping the Steelers in the 2011 season, including a 35-7 drubbing of Pittsburgh in the season opener that sets the tone for another run at a Super Bowl.
2. Williams departs
Long-time Maryland men's basketball coach Gary Williams resigns in a surprise move, leaving the Terps scrambling to find his replacement. It turns out to be Texas A&M's Mark Turgeon. In an emotional farewell ceremony, Williams throws one last fist pump to the Comcast Center crowd as long-time Terps broadcaster Johnny Holliday intones: "Welcome to the house that Gary built. Today marks the end of an era."
3. Flanagan death
Former Orioles pitching great, general manager and announcer Mike Flanagan takes his own life at age 59. Police report the 1979 Cy Young Award winner was worried about financial problems. Two nights later at Camden Yards, with the team and its fans still in shock, Flanagan is honored as one of the last links to the glory days of Orioles Magic.
4. Md. football drama
Maryland hires Randy Edsall to replace Ralph Friedgen as head coach and Terps go 2-10 his first season, with players leaving in droves. There's a shake-up in the coaching staff, too: offensive coordinator is asked to step down after publicly expressing interest in the head coaching job at Colorado State.
5. Lockout & Foxworth
The NFL lockout ends, thanks in no small part to work done by Domonique Foxworth, a member of the players' executive committee. But Foxworth is placed on injured reserve and the Ravens leave Westminster to hold training camp at The Castle in Owings Mills. Four months later, they announce the move is likely permanent.
6. Grand Prix
Baltimore hosts its first ever Grand Prix, won by Will Power, but the race is plagued by unpaid bills. Over 100,000 spectators flock to the downtown course for the three-day festival, but debts of over $12 million cast doubt on whether the race will be run next year.
7. O's topple Red Sox
Orioles knock the Red Sox out of the playoffs on the final day of the season. Camden Yards is electric for the first time in years. Within days, the Boston media are feasting on rumors of Sox pitchers drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games.
8. MacPhail out; Duquette in
Orioles GM Andy MacPhail resigns and is replaced by former Expos and Red Sox GM Dan Duquette. After 14 straight losing seasons Duquette boldly – or foolishly, depending on your point of view – declares the Orioles want to be ".500 or better" this season
9. Mackey death
Baltimore Colts Hall of Famer and NFL Players Association pioneer John Mackey dies. Credited with revolutionizing the tight end position, he suffered from dementia in later years and became a cause célèbre for researchers studying brain damage in athletes caused by repeated blows to the head.
10. Towson football
Towson University football has one of the greatest turnarounds in the college game. A 9-3 record and first-ever NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoff appearance gets students and alumni excited about the program again – and even causes traffic jams on Osler Drive!