Ron Cassie's picture
December, 27th 2013

R.I.P. Paul Blair

Baltimore magazine

We love current Orioles' center fielder Adam Jones, but the first O's center fielder we adored—and emulated as kids chasing fly balls—was the graceful Paul Blair.

The eight-time Gold Glove winner, who helped lead the Orioles to World Series titles in 1966 and 1970, died last night after collapsing at a Pikesville bowling alley. He was 69 years old.

"When you talk about the greatest defensive center fielders, he was right in the mix," former O's leftfielder Don Buford told the Associated Press. "With me in left and Frank Robinson in right, we played toward the lines and gave him a lot of room. He could really go get it."

Gloria Blair, his wife of 42 years, told the Baltimore Sun that her husband had played golf Thursday morning with friends and headed over to the AMF Pikesville Lanes afterwards to participate in a celebrity bowling tournament.

"Paul was...

Ron Cassie's picture
December, 23rd 2013

Towson Headed to Frisco for First National Title Shot

Baltimore magazine

The good, the bad, and the awesome. That about sums up Towson's upset of No. 2 seeded Eastern Washington — on the road and in the fog and snow — in the FCS semifinals Saturday.

Where do you begin with a game (broadcast on ESPNU, by the way) like this? Towson went up 21-nothing to start the game. Rolling.

Then starting senior quarterback Peter Athens, after throwing for two TDs, went down with an injury in the second quarter. Without Athens, the Tiger offense stalled and Eastern Washington rattled off 31 straight heartbreaking points. Chances for a first-ever national title shot for the Tigers, a program in the midst of a startling rebound in recent years under head coach Rob Ambrose, looked dim halfway through the fourth quarter.

But sophomore backup quarterback Connor Frazier, looking nervous initially at the helm, suddenly found his inner-Joe Montana and led Towson on two, 70-yard plus fourth-quarter touchdown drives — the last one starting with just 1:35 remaining. Frazier, a Damascus High grad, mixed pinpoint passes and heady running, scoring the game-winning touchdown himself on a 1-yard keeper with less than 20...

Ron Cassie's picture
December, 23rd 2013

Ravens Stud of the Week

Baltimore magazine

Simply put, it was all downhill after this guy left the field. He started his career with the Ravens with a bit of a lucky break — recommended by Morgan State's band director, Melvin Miles — but then won over Art Modell with his debut performance.

(Totally unrelated, we wanted to share this clip of Patriots' QB Tom Brady getting ignored by his teammates as he offers up a high-five while gloating on the sideline late in the game Sunday. It just makes us feel a little better.)

Week 16 Stud: 
Mishael Miller

The line:
Eighteen straight years singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Ravens' home games, including the team's inaugural game Sept. 1, 1996 at Memorial Stadium. Sunday he delivered his usual top-notch performance after leading the singing at two services at Pennsylvania Avenue's A.M.E. Zion Church earlier in the day where he's assistant pastor.

Studliest moment:
His compelling rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner"...

Max Weiss's picture
December, 17th 2013

Ravens Stud of the Week

Baltimore magazine


That was a billboard I saw while driving to work this morning on the JFX. Not sure who was responsible for it, but I salute thee.

There was much talk this week of Megatron, aka Calvin Johnson, the Lions stud wide receiver, and whether or not Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam should’ve called him out (referring to him as “pretty old” and questioning his physicality) a few days before the big game. (He shouldn’t have—although we’re too polite to mention the fact that Johnson dropped a few very catchable passes last night and Elam snagged the final-nail-in-the-coffin interception.)

But in the end, it didn’t matter.

Because it was Legatron, aka Justin Tucker, not Megatron, who was the real star of last night’s game. And how.

Week 15 Stud:
Justin Tucker

The line:
Tucker kicked 6 field goals (29, 24, 32, 49, 53, and 61 yards) and was responsible for ALL of the Ravens points last night.

Studliest moment:...

Ron Cassie's picture
December, 16th 2013

Lions' Head Coach: One of Our Own

Baltimore magazine

Not that it's going to change one little bit how we feel about tonight's game, but we wanted to note that Detriot head coach Jim Schwartz hails from Halethorpe.

It's great to see a Mount St. Joe guy doing well, leading the Lions, long a downrtrodden franchise, to the brink of an NFL playoff spot. After an All-America and academic All-America playing career at Georgetown, Schwartz later coached at the University of Maryland. He began his pro coaching career as a defensive assistant with the Ravens in 1996.

Like the Ravens, the Lions are sitting at 7-6 on the year. Detriot, at home tonight, is favored by 5.5 - 6 points, according to the lastest betting lines out of Las Vegas.

We sincerely wish Schwartz — who still has family in the Baltimore area — all the luck in the world the next two weeks against the Giants and Vikings.

Ron Cassie's picture
December, 13th 2013

New York Times Q & A: Season's Greeting from John Waters

Baltimore magazine

'Tis the season for John Waters.

How did that happen?

On tour with "A John Waters Christmas," the Baltimore filmmaker, author, artist, and raconteur, sat down last week for an interview with the New York Times, revealing his favorite Christmas gifts over the years, what kind of presents he gives out at Christmas — and the stories behind some of his own infamous Christmas cards. (See image above.)

Next week, he'll be home in Baltimore — where he always spends the holidays — for two performances of "A John Waters Christmas" at the Baltimore Soundstage. "Putting the 'X' in Xmas," as he likes to say.

Ron Cassie's picture
December, 11th 2013

Western School of Technology named Maryland Blue Ribbon School

Baltimore magazine

Congrats to Catonsville's Western School of Technology and Environmental Science.

The Maryland State Department of Education announced today that the Baltimore County high school is among six schools selected as a 2014 Maryland Blue Ribbon School.

Schools earning Blue Ribbon recognition this year—based on state and national requirements for high achievement and significant improvement—include Western, Linthicum Elementary School in Anne Arundel County, Cashell Elementary School in Rockville, Robert Goddard French Immersion Elementary/Middle School in Prince George's County, Frost Elementary School in Allegany County, and Northern Garrett High School in Garrett County.

A magnet school focusing on cutting-edge technological career and experiental science programs,...

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December, 10th 2013

Snow Day

Baltimore magazine
Ron Cassie's picture
December, 9th 2013

Ravens Stud of the Week

Baltimore magazine

Wherever the bar had been previously set in sports for "roller coaster of a game" — consider it demolished. The Ravens' stunning, three-touchdown, three-comeback performance in the final two minutes of Sunday's snow bowl win over the Minnesota Vikings left us happy, yes, but emotionally wrought. Like John Harbaugh, at the end, when Marlon Brown's incredible catch in the back of the end zone pulled victory from the jaws of defeat one last time, we could only bury our head in our hands, unable to laugh or cry. Too spent to scream with joy.

According to the stat mavens who track such things, the game's finish was the wildest ever in the NFL. The teams' combined five TDs in 2:05 "were the fastest that five touchdowns have been scored in the last 50 seasons — by more than 3½ minutes." 

(By the way, did you notice the karma playing out yesterday in the NFL? As Jacoby Jones was making his dramatic touchdown return for the Ravens — somehow dancing inside the treacherous sideline the whole way — a miraculous, game-winning Pittsburgh play was nullified when Antonio Brown...

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