Monday, June 09, 2008

Most overrated Raven? Paying homage to a Jim McKay...


Like many of you, I too have fond memories of Jim McKay, the legendary sports broadcaster who has left us behind while he journeys to a new world.

As a kid ABC’s Wide World of Sports was must-see television. I can remember countless times when I would hear the introduction of the show and that smooth welcoming voice that adventurously encouraged us to tune in as ABC was “spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports” in order to observe “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

And who could ever forget McKay's shining moment as he gracefully described the tragedy that marked the Munich Olympic Games in 1972.

McKay was everything you could want in a broadcaster. He was respectful, prepared, well spoken, eloquent, professional, approachable, selfless and a gentleman. He never wanted to be the story – he just wanted to report it.

And Jim McKay was one of us – he was a Baltimorean residing in Monkton. With pride he handled the microphone at The Preakness year in and year out. His mannerisms were those of a proud parent.

As evidenced by the area of town in which he resided, McKay loved horses. How ironic that he would pass on a day that most thought would be remembered as the day during which the Triple Crown drought would end in thoroughbred racing.

Jim McKay left an indelible mark on sports television. The wide world of sports just got significantly narrower following his passing.

Jim McKay was also a minority owner of the Baltimore Orioles. He must have been proud of the shape and direction his favorite baseball team is beginning to take. I have been a harsh critic of the team since the inception of Ravens24x7.com. As a rule we spend very little time on the Orioles but what little time we do spend discussing them, hasn’t been very flattering.

Today that changes and hopefully not just temporarily.

After ten miserable seasons, the Orioles front office is finally doing what they are supposed to be doing and ownership is doing what it should be doing. The overachieving Birds are playing hard, showing promise, having fun and never say die under the watchful eye of Dave Trembley. They are competing despite an insufficient supply of offensive talent and excess baggage, aka Steve Trachsel.

And if Peter Angelos’ newfound hands-off approach wasn’t enough, we’ve recently learned that his long lost sense of civic pride has suddenly returned. Baltimore will be emblazoned upon the chests of Orioles’ players when they hit the road beginning in 2009.

To borrow from another legendary broadcaster near and dear to our hearts, “Ain’t the beer cold!”

Pete Prisco from CBS Sportsline recently posted a column in which he describes the most overrated and underrated players on each of the league’s 32 teams. You can find that here.

I did want to touch on his choices in both categories for the Ravens. They are as follows with a few thoughts of my own (italics):

Overrated: CB Chris McAlister. It's too bad Steve McNair retired. He would have won this easily. Without him, it's tough to pick somebody here. But I went with McAlister, who missed half of last season because of injury. He's not a premier corner anymore.

Underrated: G Jason Brown. He was a mauler at left guard last season, one of the rising young players at the position. There is a chance he could move to center, but he should excel there as well.

I have to agree on both counts. McAlister is inconsistent and is beaten by a double move about as regularly as Lindsay Lohan is sent home in a cab. A close second for most overrated Raven? Try Ed Reed (excluding 2002-2004). After 2008, Jason Brown will be underrated no longer. Same goes for Haloti Ngata.

For the record, Prisco also named Adalius Thomas the most overrated Patriot: “The Patriots paid a ton of money for him and he didn't do what they expected. It didn't help that he was forced to play some inside. He's more of an outside rusher.”

Yet another former Raven defender who can’t match his productivity while donning the purple and black.

4 comments :

Ravcolt said...

Jim McKay: Greatest Baltimore comment was the Preakness 1984, less than two months from the Colts leaving town. Paraphrasing, he said: "And now to play 'Maryland my Maryland' is the Baltimore Colts Marching Band. They are still here even after their beloved Colts stole out town under the guise of darkness on a snowy March evening a few months ago." Classic--and I told him so while getting him to autograph his book for my Dad.

Adalius Thomas: How can Prisco say he was overrated despite playing out of position? Anyone who knows anything about football knows Belichick is adament about one thing--playing your position only. No improvising and do your job. Thomas did that and more. Stats are overrated when it comes to AD. Is 18-1 overrated? If stats are so important, check what they were for the Super Bowl: 5 solo tackles and 2 sacks. And they lost.

Ravcolt said...

Jim McKay: Greatest Baltimore comment was the Preakness 1984, less than two months from the Colts leaving town. Paraphrasing, he said: "And now to play 'Maryland my Maryland' is the Baltimore Colts Marching Band. They are still here even after their beloved Colts stole out of town under the guise of darkness on a snowy March evening a few months ago." Classic--and I told him so while getting him to autograph his book for my Dad.

Adalius Thomas: How can Prisco say he was overrated despite playing out of position? Anyone who knows anything about football knows Belichick is adament about one thing--playing your position only. No improvising and do your job. Thomas did that and more. Stats are overrated when it comes to AD. Is 18-1 overrated? If stats are so important, check what they were for the Super Bowl: 5 solo tackles and 2 sacks. And they lost.

Anonymous said...

AD instantly became the best lb ON THE 17-*2 PATSies/ cheaters.

Over paid maybe, but not over rated.

C-Mack and Samari Rolle are both under rated. When one or the other has not been healthy, the coverage has gone to shambles. Watch any corner for an entire season and they will get beat a lot more than McCallister does. He is simply solid 95% of the time, and that alone is spectacular. He always draws the oposing #1, and usually shuts them down, from T.O. to Moss. Ocho Stinko and Plax Burres have occasionally given him trouble along with Marvin Harrison, and what not, but those guys torch everyone on the regular.

Brown is or was underrated, now he is about to get paid like he is a houshold name. He is a very solid player, and should have been starting at center for 2 years now.

Reed is not over rated. He is the best FS in football. Dawkins is my favorite SS, but Reed is by far the best deep defender in football. Bob Sanders is a close second, but is also more of a SS by scheme.

Nagta, Grubbs, Bart Scott and T Sizzle are all under rated, but will be going to the pro bowl this seaon.

Anonymous said...

Out of position means: not playing your natural position vs. not failing to follow the scheme. Caught out of position and playing out of position are not the same. Prisco's an idiot anyway. The point is AD cannot play ILB, he's still pretty good at OLB. That's what he played in the SB.