George has worked at WEPM for over 10 years. His sports knowledge goes from High School all the way to the Pro's. You can expect a wide range of blog posts from George, as he likes almost every sport, so stay tuned.....
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Way I made this list up was the top 5 stories from the local ranks (high school and college). Then regional (DC and Baltimore). Followed by the top 5 national stories.
1. Martinsburg football 3-peats. Was there really a question this would not be number one? First time since Charleston did this feat from 1968-1970 in Triple-A. No question this is the number one local story of the year.
2. Denny Price retires. After a great coaching career and great season for the Appleman Denny Price sang his swan song.
3. Hedgesville Boys Basketball wins Triple-A crown.Since 1970 a basketball title has eldued the Eagles. But playing perfect basketball in the Carleston Civic Center, They brought one home
4. West Virginia moves to the Big XII. After being in the Big East since 1991 in football and the 1995-1996 season for basketball. The Mountaineers made the leap to the Big XII.
5.Hedgesville and Mussleman go to the state volleyball tournament. Any time a local team goe to a state tournament that deserves a top 5 slot. Region
1. Orioles nake the playoffs. For the first time in 15 years The Orioles had both a winning season and Playoff appearance. that to me is enough to earn the number one spot.
2. Strasburg shutdown. I still hold on to a belief that had he pitched in the NLDS they are moving on to the NLCS to take on the Giants.
3. RGIII and the REDSKINS.Making a Playoff push and the Redskins exciting. First time in a long time that has happened.
4. Ravens injuries. Reason i put this here is because many had them as a Super Bowl contender but with the injuries a first round playoff win would be very lucky.
5. Capitals season/playoffs. Looked like they would not get in.Instead went tot he second round and took the Rangers righ to the brink. Nation
1. Giants win the World Series. Reason i have this here. Giants had a tough regular season lost closer Brian Wilson to injury. Lost Melky Cabrera to performance enhancing drugs and the Dodgers bolstered there lineup. Giants ended up winning the division to spite that all by eight games. Then the playoffs. Went down 0-2 to the Reds and had to go into Cincinnati a place they NEVER win had to win 3 in a row and did so. Then went to St. Louis. Went down 1-3 and had to rely on a guy in Barry Zito that pretty much had robbed them blind from 2007 until October 19th. Where he pitched a GEM. And the Giants never lost again.As they beat the Cardinals in game 5 5-0 then went on to dominate the Cardinals in game 6 winning 6-1 and game 7 winning 9-0. Then onto the world Series they DOMINATED and when i say DOMINATED I am putting it lightly. A heavly favored Detriot Tigers was there foes in the World Series Giants swept them and trailed for a total of one inning. So if it is debated why that is my number one National story theres all my points.
2. Michael Phelps. Put on another great show as he always does in the Olympics. Dominating in the pool he earns my scond spot.
3. Kings win the Stanley Cup. An 8-seed that looked like they would not get to the playoffs got there and behind Jonathan Quick dominated the playoffs. Hockey maybe in lockout but cannot overlook what they did back in June.
4. Chuckstrong. I had that of Peyton Manning going to the Denver Broncos and being Peyton Manning at this spot. But seeing What the Colts have done and the tribute made for Chuck Pagano before this afternoons Colts-Texans game that is what stole my heart and got the 4-spot.
5. Peyton Manning being Peyton Manning. Came in with questions could he be that guy he was in Indy? Well if the Broncos win today then he got a one seed for the Broncos. I think that question was answered.
There is my top 15 stories of 2012. I hope you all had a good 2012 and a great 2013. Happy New Years!
Is all I have to say how the Pittsburgh Steelers season ended.
This season started with the defense having questions. As they went to Denver and Peyton Manning tore it up. Then went to Oakland and could not stop a nosebleed. Same in Tennessee. But the defense found its groove and became quite productive. Putting the Steelers in position to win. They still had some lackluster performances BUT to a man they did there job.
Then there is the offense. Oh the offense."All My Children" may be off the air but if you wanted a good soap oprea the offense was it. As Ben Roethlisberger made it WELL KNOWN he hated Todd Hailey. And it carried over to the field. Very easy blame coaches and what not but truth is there not the ones throwing intercetptions in back to back weeks to loss games. The Steelers did not have a run game either. I know the "new NFL" is an overly pass happy league. I get that. But if there is not a steady run game to set the pass up well you do not put yourself in position to win very often. It is no wonder they lost the last three out of four games. When considered they have not had a running back go over the century mark since November 4 in New Jersey. The horrid offensive line has been well documented so that is not worth revisting.
All I have to say is since it is Christmas Eve. I hope Ben, Charlie Batch, and Byron Leftwich got that Defense some Christmas presents and apologies. Defense put them in postion all season to win games. And Ben, Batch, or Leftwich put them in no win situations. Giving short fields and not being on the field long enough to give rests for a very old defense. Defense if those three did not bottom of my heart at least I am above and beyond sorry for what that offense did too you all season. And that is truth.
I said when Peyton Manning signed with Denver "if the Steelers have no shot of winning the Super Bowl I will root for Denver" . So since that has happened I hope the Papa John's spokesman gets the job done and ties his brother up for Super Bowl Rings. Also I hope and wish my Redskins friends all the best next Sunday. As they will try to beat there hated rivals the Dallas Cowboys and win the NFC East.
So other than my apology to the Steelers defense I do mean this.
As I sat through the Hurricane Sandy/12/12/12 concert that is all I could come up with.
Sure the show had its hot spots. As Alicia Keys closed the show out with a tear jerking perfomance of "Empire State Of Mind". Clapton was shredding on the guitar. Keith Richards looking cooler than the other side of the pillow and Mick jagger doing what Mick Jagger does best. Billy Joel whom I am not a huge fan of had a good set.. The Boss was the Boss (Bruce Springsteen).There where other good sets as well but those are what stuck out to me. But two sets that where long and just awful stuck out too me the most. And that is The Who whom i am indeed a big fan of but was long and not very good. And the second that was just WAY WAY WAY overtime and overkill was none other than Kanye West. First he wore a leather skirt or I do not know what I looked past that. But the set list was AWFUL and the performance was even worse.
Now you are sitting there saying "George you are a sports guy". "Why talk about this concert"?!
Well as I sat there last night watching said concert. One of my favorite NHL players not named Mario Lemieux. Mark Messier was answering phones. And all I could muster up was a. "God I wish there was a game to watch tonight"!
I am very sure some is like "well there were NCAA basketball games to be had". Or "there where Nba games to be had".
While both are legit statements. It is very hard for me to get into NCAA basketball until conference play (which is 3 weeks away). And the NBA is beyond hard for me to watch at this time. So concerts like last night have my attention. And al I end up thinking when I watch stuff that usually I never would is.
Initials I never thought I would say.Together for the words they mean.Not in a million years I thought would say.
Hail To The Redskins!
What a game the Redskins and the Ravens played yesterday aftrenoon in Landover. As the Redskins won 31-28 in overtime. As most games do go though it had it''s dead spots then had it's hot spots. The last five minutes of yesterday's game was hot spot central. As the Ravens Ray Rice put the game at 28-20 for the Ravens and the game looked pretty much over at that point. NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND! The Redskins got the ball back and did end up punting it back to the Ravens. Then the Ravens punted back to the Redskins
And here is where it got interesting.
Redskins faced a 2nd and 19. And RGIII being RGIII improvised on a play and ran like a wildman gaining 13 yards 6 short of the 1st. But here is where it gets interesting. Haloti Ngata who had Griffins number all day. Ngata got in a nasty hit (clean hit) but nasty. RGII had his body in New York and his knee in San Francisco. Said he yelled but like a man of course. Griffin left the game for one play. Came back hooked up with Santana Moss on an underneath pass that Moss made happen for a first down. Then RGIII hooked up with Pierre Garcon for a 22 yard strike and you could tell RGIII was feeling pain. As he rushed to the line took a boched snap and winged it ruled for grounding. He could not go on. Enter Kirk Cousins. game was over again right?Again. NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND! After the said grounding Cousins faced a 2nd and 20 picked up a big chuck then faced 3rd and short. Went for bust got the TD throw to Pierre Garcon 28-26 Ravens. To tie the game and send it to overtime the Redskins had to have a 2 point conversion. And what did Cousins do? QB SNEAK UP THE MIDDLE. Tie game and it goes to overtime.
Coin toss Ravens win so of course with the NFL rules you take the ball. Redskins force a three and out Ravens have to punt the ball.
Richard Crawford breaks off a 64 yard return. And put the Redskins into position to win. Two handoffs and a fg later game set macth Redskins win.
I have never been a Redskins fan by any means.And I really do not intend on being one. But I can not lie these last four weeks and the magic that RGIII has produced? They have been OVERLY fun to watch. Gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling for the fans that have gone to the stadium worn the burgandy and gold and rooted for the skins and got NOTHING in return. To now FINALLY having a franchise qb. And making a tweek here and there they may be onto something.
This game comes very early this season and truth be told. I LIKE IT. Both teams are not in conference play. And have to drop everything and have a party for the West Virginia poltics.
Anyway. For the first time since I can remember Marshall is coming in with a better record and they have alot to play for here. It honestly is a "statement" game for them. I have heard alot of talk from the Marshall fans,media, and message boards that this maybe one of the best teams ever for Marshall. Now if they want to say that thats fine. But tonight is a time to prove it. As I have followed West Virginia basketball since I was 5 I have no hesitation in saying this team is one of the um well how do I say not very good teams I have seen put out in Morgantown.
But this is a very funny game that is played down there. In the last five meetings West Virginia is 4-1. Heres breakdown 2008 saw WVU win 66-64 . 2009 saw WVU win 87-76. 2010 saw WVU win 68-60. 2011 saw Marshall win 75-71. And 2012 saw WVU win 78-62. Three close games and two blowouts. But the two games that really stand out to me was 2005 and 2006. Total spade Marshall in those seasons COMBINED won a total of 18 games. So needless to say they were not very good. West Virginia those two seasons went to the Elite 8 in 2005 and to the Sweet 16 in 2006. West Virginia should have been able to win those games BLINDFOLDED. Instead? in 2005 lost 59-55. In 2006 lost 58-52. And pretty much saved a man his job for two season in Ron Jirsa.So anything can and does happen in this game.
What I honesly think coming into this game tonight is. For West Virginia a win means they get back to .500 and there back on track. For Marshall it is that statement game that I earlier touched on. It is a "payoff" for those fans and what not that talked them up all preseason. A loss there is cake on there face and they start to doubt themselves. Either way I look for a very good game and I lokk for Bob Huggins to take his troops to Charleston and right the ship and win this evening. Do not forget you can listen to all the action here on Sports Radio 1340 pregame set for 6:30pm with the game tipping off at 7:30pm.
Is all I can say with the last two days of football.
Started Sunday with the Steelers battling the Ravens. I said in an earlier blog I wear my Steeler heart on my sleeve. I watched the first half of that game sat down at the dinner table ate supper and said I can not put in another week of this I just can't do it anymore. Without Big Ben.I saw ESPN was going to put the 2012 World Series video on so I said I will watch that. I heard my family upstairs making a comotion so I figured it was good. I flipped over as Shaun Suisham hit the game winning fg as the Steelers won 23-20.I said "thank God Ben get better". Flipped back over to what I was watching. If the Redskins beat the Ravens Sunday and Steelers beat the Chargers. Ravens fans you have a divisional race on your hands. And the last four games for the Ravens are not cake walks. As it goes like this. @Redskins,Broncos,@Giants,@Bengals. All four teams figthing for a playoff spot. (or in the Broncos case a better seeding) The Steelers have. Chargers, @Cowboys Bengals ,Browns. Only one is fighting for a spot of those four. Many will tell you yhe Cowboys but I feel they are dead. So a loss to the Redskins and it gets interesting indeed!
Ok enough of that and on to the Redskins Giants game.
What can we say about RGIII? Guy is a rookie and is leading this team to a possible playoff spot. And truth be told I thought the Redskins would be in the 4-12,5-11 area. And am I WRONG. As they beat the Giants tonight 17-16 and made the Redskins 6-6. And looking at the final four games after there win tonight 10-6 the division and playoffs are not out of the question. As the Redskins final four games goes like this. Ravens,@Browns,@Eagles,Colts. Two come against teams that have a playoff shot the other two are dead. But the way the Skins are playing right now and the way they this team has some faith? All four are overly winnable And the Giants remaining four looks like this. Saints,@Falcons,@Ravens, Eagles. So the division is not totally out of the question.
These final four weeks promise to shape up to be exciting ones as we close out the year 2012 and enter 2013.
How does that Jackson five song go again? Because that is what the Martinsburg Bulldogs did today and did what they had done all playoffs long. Win and win BIG.
I had a little bit of doubt when it came too playing George Washington last week. But it was NO CONTEST. Today was an undefeated Cabell Midland team, The question was (by most) how big would the Bulldogs win? Answer to that question is 38-14.
The last time there was a triple crown winner in triple-a was 1968-1970. By a school that no longer exists Charleston High School. Richard Nixon was still in office for that. So a mighty long time in between a triple crown.
What needs to be said and written about these three teams.Is They where just that TEAMS. Was not really a "superstar" among the bunch. From what Dave Walker has said on the radio and what not theres no egos. They just did it the right way and won three state titles.I have read/heard that many felt Ryan Switzer is the best player in the state and even last week when. Justin "Cookie" Clinton went nuts on George Washington. That Ryan Switzer was the best player on the field that day. But I start to question that.
I do not get a vote for the Kennedy Award (best football player state in West Virginia). But if I did I would swing it to Clinton. And here is why (not just a Martinsburg slant), Numbers wise he is right there with Switzer and among that he did not miss a game and Switzer did. Not only those two things but what also sticks out to me? Switzer was bottled up and DOMINATED twice. Were as for Clinton everytime he touched the ball he made magic happen. So although I know as does anyone else that follows High School sports that this area is hated upon from the rest of the state. Martisnburg is the best TEAM and has the best player in the state this year. NO QUESTIONS ASKED
Off my soap box.
Trey Boyd had the longest carry of 83 yards in todays game. Setting a Triple A state championship record Had to add that tidbit in here somewere.
So now where does the Bulldogs go from here? I have heard some people say that Martinsburg could be as good if not better next year than this year. I am not going to put the cart in front of the horse but that is just some rumblings.
Once again HUGE congrats goes out to Dave Walker and the Martinsburg Bulldogs. As 3-peating is no small feat!