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Originally posted on LaxSpot on 04/30/2008

How is everyone doing today?

The Titans are in the playoffs and it is a great feeling.  The team was picked to finish dead last in the NLL and we have shocked everyone outside of our locker room.  With a huge win over the defending champion Rochester Knighthawks on Saturday night, we clinced our first playoff berth in our two year history and knocked Rochester out of the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.  The interesting thing about the playoffs this year is that all four Eastern Conference teams are tied with a 10-6 record and the seedings were based on tiebreakers.  The team will travel to Minnesota to take on the Swarm on Saturday night at 8 eastern, if you arent doing anything, go to B2 Networks and buy the game online for seven bucks, it will be worth it.

Unfortunately, I wasnt at the game on Saturday night and wont be there Saturday in Minnesota either.  Saturday after our 11 am shoot around in the Garden, I had to head out down to Philly so that I could get a physical and attend practice for the Dragons.  We had our first weekend of training camp in Philly which was convenient for me so that I could make some of my Titans responsibilities and be there for the start of Dragons training camp.  Camp started around 8 pm and we were missing a good number of returners from last years team (about half of our guys play indoor and are in the playoffs…..GOOD LUCK boys), but that didnt start the guys that were there giving 100% for the two hours we were out there.  After practice I got a quick bite and a little sleep and we turned it around for a ten am scrimmage with the Barrage.  It was a good scrimmage for both sides, but I think we came up on the short end of the scoreboard.  This weeks training camp will be in San Jose and should be another good one.  Countdown to game one 17 days.

On to the NFL Draft.  How predictable was the first three picks?   For the first time in a while the NFL picked the right six guys to be in attendance at the draft.  No more watching a first round pick sitting in the green room wondering when he was going to get a chance to get up on the stage.  As for my Ravens, I couldnt be happier with the draft.  I cant wait to see how Joe Flacco does and I think Ray Rice is going to be good number two behind Willis..  Gooden is gong to be the next middle linebacker from the U to dominate the NFL, and a fourth round pick for Fabian Washington works for me.  Throw in some great backups and special teamers and we have a draft that is going to turn around the Ravens….


Originally posted on LaxSpot on 04/17/2008

How is everyone doing?  I know that it has been a while since I last posted, but I have been busy and also have been trying to figure out what to write about.  I want to start my post with an apology to the Towson lacrosse team and coaching staff if I ruffled any feathers with my comments about this years team and the program.  I was out of line and I am sorry.

Now its time to move on and let you know what has been going on with me.  For starters, the TItans are 7-6 and in fourth place in the NLL Eastern Conference.  We have a big weekend with two games, Friday night against the Chicago Shamrox at the Garden and Saturday night against the Philadelphia Wings in Philly.  If we win these two games, we should pretty much lock up a playoff spot, if we dont it will make next weekends game against the Rochester Knighthawks at the Garden all that more interesting.

Other than indoor, I have been working out feverously for the MLL season to start.  Dragons training camp kicks off next weekend in Philly with our first trainig camp practice Saturday night and a scrimmage against the Barrage on Sunday.  I cant wait to get outdoor going again and to catch up with all of the guys from last years team and to welcome our new teamates.

Next weekend is also a huge weekend for NFL fans with the draft.  I cant wait to see what the Ravens do with the eigth pick.  Do they get QB Matt Ryan, one of the many talented corners or linemen, or do they trade it away to get more picks than they already have (8).  We will just have to wait and see.

Game of the weekend in college should be the Navy vs Hopkins game.  Hop is coming off of a huge win over rival Maryland while Navy lost to rival Army.  Throw in that it is Navy’s homecoming and over 10,000 people….it is going to make for a great game.  Other big ones include a GWLL matchup Denver vs OSU (coming off a huge win over UNC), UPenn vs Maryland (Terps need to score more than 8 goals in two games), Albany vs Cuse (big upstate battle), Princeton vs Cornell (battle for the IVY), Duke (are they beatable) vs Army, and my Tigers in a huge CAA mathcup vs Villanova (this game should decide CAA tourney seedings).

Until next time……..

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 03/31/2008

Whats up everyone?  I hope you are having a good Opening Day, even though the weather is pretty crummy.  I know that being a laxer, means that we are supposed to hate baseball, but I cant do it.  I grew up a baseball fan and have meet some pretty phenomenal baseball players over the years and there still isnt much that beats going to an O’s game on a nice Spring/Summer night.  Event hough the O’s +/- for the year (according to Vegas) is only 66 (that means that if they win 66 games, they have lose 97….thats pathetic), and have had 10 straight losing seasons, I am still a fan and will always be.

This past weekend was a good one and I am definitely feeling it today.  The Titans had a bye week, so we had no lacrosse obligations this weekend, so I had some time to catch up with some friends that I havent had a chance to hang out with in a while.  On Saturday we celebrated Tom Garvey’s 25th birthday and boy did we celebrate.  We started the night at an amazing dinner at Sammy’s Tratoria on Charles Srteet in Mount Vernon.  The owner is also the cook and the food is amazing.  The atmosphere is nice, if you can get passed all of the Hopkins memorabilia (JHU goes to their pregame dinner there).  After dinner we hit up Federal Hill and than back to Tom’s for late night shenanigans.  Needless to say, I was feeling pretty awful all day Sunday, but Tom’s birthday was a night to remember.

Now onto lacrosse…….What is going on in D1 this year?  Hop losing 4 straight and 3 of those in OT.  I may be biased becuase the backup goalie for the Hop is my roomate, but come on Petro, give him a shot.  Closer to home, what is up with TOWSON.  How can my alma mater be sooooo bad.  How do you only beat Robert Morris by one goal and trail the entire game?  Good luck Tuesday versus a good underated UMBC team.  Maryland, is playing well (smoking UVA) minus a tough 3 OT loss to UMBC and a schalacking by UNC.  Did I mention they have 4 freshmen rotating through on their attack and a freshmen starting at D.  UVA and Duke looked like the teams to beat, but have struggled as of late.
Lacrosse has become a sport of parity and it is great seeing teams knocking eachother around and off of the pedistal.  Keep it rolling and it should make for an interesting run for the next two months.
Until next time…..

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 3/25/08

How is everyone doing?  After a 10 day break from school, I am now back and not too happy about it.  Where did my spring break go?

For Spring Break, I stayed in Baltimore and just did some stuff around town.  On Tueday of last week, I got the chance to go out to Perry Hall and help coach the Varsity lacrosse team.  I had a blast coaching these kids.

The rest of the week was spent doing things around the house, “meating” out at the gym, and hanging out at the park with Mason.  On Friday I spent all day in Perry Hall again helping the rec program out at their Good Friday Clinic.  It is a long day (8-430), but the kids have a lot of fun.  After the clinic, I headed back to Federal Hill to meet up with Brenden Mundorf before hitting the road to New Jersey for Titans practice.  After a really good practice, we headed back to the hotel for some quick sleep, so that we could make the 8 am breakfast and film session. After film, we got back in the car and made out way to Trenton, NJ for our shoot around practice at our home arena for the weekend.  Just to let everyone know, we play our home games at Madison Square Garden, but because of the preseason strike, the Garden released the arena dates, so this season we have spent the majority of our games on the road (11 out of 16 games to be exact).

After practice, we headed to the hotel for a team lunch, some relaxation, and basketball (I loved seeing Duke lose).  Saturday we played the Wings (Philly is an hour away from Trenton), the number one team in the league and the team that has beaten us every time we have played them.  When we got to the arena, Philly fans were already there, and they were rowdy.  For those of you who havent experianced a game in Philly, you have to go see it, it is amazing how much these people love the Wings players, but there is something a little different about them (that is all I am going to say).  It was a hard fought game and the Titans were victorious but a score of 20-13.  This was hands down the best game we have played all year.

After the game, we headed back to Baltimore (big day Sunday).  I have my family over for Easter and I had to cook all day.  We had a feast of Brisket, Lamb Chops, Potatos au Gratin, Spinich Salad, and cheesecake for desert.  It was delicious if I say so myslef.  Yesterday was my last day of spring break and it was spent in court at Jury Duty.  It was a miserable way to enjoy my last day of break, but extremely interesting to say the least.  I got selected to be on two different jurys, one for attempted first and second degree murder and the other for possession with intent to distribute of heroin and cocaine.  Luckily for me, I was excused from both juries.

Now, I am back at school, and back to my normal routine, I hope everyone has a good week and I will talk to everyone soon.

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 3/14/08

I cant believe it is finally here, but as of today at 1215, I will officially be on Spring Break until March 25th.  This school year has absolutly flown by and before you know it, summer will be here.  I wish that I could say I am going on some crazy, fun, tropical spring break, but I cant.  I am going to be staying in Baltimore laying low, relaxing, and working out.  I am actually looking for a week long job next week to make some extra money, so if anyone has anything for me, let me know….

Now onto Lacrosse:

The Titans have a huge game tonight in Toronto.  The team had a tough loss the first time against them this year after leading for most of the game, so tonight should hopefully offer a little payback.

Yesterday, I talked to our GM in San Francisco, Doug Locker, about how the Dragons are shaping up for the 2008 season.  Now, dont get me wrong, we are going to have a lot of work to do, LA looks sick and are coming off a Chapionship run last year, Denver is tough and since we just traded Ryan Powell to them, they are looking even tougher, and Chicago really came on last year and have a lot of young talent, but I think we are going to be pretty good too.  Talking to Doug, we discussed the moves that have been made this off season (traded Alrich and Hulme to Boston for David Mitchell; traded RP and Nate Watkins to Denver for an 08 and 09 first round pick; traded Rommel and Hendler to Chicago for Steve Panarelli and Zach Hefner; not to mention a new head coach in Tom Slate) and I must say he sounded excited about it and I think we have a great group of guys that are going to make some noise in the league this year.  I am really getting excited for the first week of training camp.

With “Selection Sunday” coming up this weekend, I cant wait for the tournament to begin.  This time of year always provides huge wins for the no names and some reallly exciting basketball games.  Anyone have any ideas as to who wins?  I know the brackets arent out yet, and it is stupid to ask that because we dont know who has the chance to play whom and where, who will get upset, etc.

I am going to take a page from Jim Rome (eventhough I cant stand him) and give you my “final burn.”

I am a huge Maryland basketball fan, I have been my entire life, and I am so dissapointed in the way this season went for them.  They started off horriblely and had a midseason turnaround and just when it counts, (the end of the season) they throw it away.  All they had to do was win to get a chance to make the NCAA Tournament and they couldnt even do that.  Three games in a row where they had over 10 point leads and they blow it…..absolutly embaressing.  How do you play so well at times and lose?  How do you lose 6 of 9 games when all you have to do is win and your in?

Well, the weather has started to get warmer and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it stays like this.  The last week has been a tough one and I figure that I would catch you up on what has been going on.  Last week was a pretty standard week until Thursday cam around.  After school on Thursday, I had a “Putt-Putt” Golf Tournament at school to raise money for a family that went to Calvert that sadly died in a horrific fire late last year.  After the golf tourney, I had about an hour to get home, change and get my lax gear so that I could head up to New Jersey for practice at 11 pm.  We had a pretty good practice and it was nice to see the team after a few weeks of not getting together with them.  Practice went for about an hour and a half and at that time I got in the car, stopped at the Quick Check to pick up some food and Gatorade and hit the road back to Baltimore.  I got in around 330 am and fianlly got to sleep around 4.  After about two hours of uncomfortable sleep, I was off to school.  I left school at 230 and hit the road again to meet up with the team at the hotel in Philadelphia.  We headed over to the Wachovia Center in Philly a little after 5 and face-off was at 8.

We suffered a tough 16-10 loss in the game, but I want to give major props to Rory Smith one of our rookie defensemen who took on Geoff Snider, who is hands down the number 1 fighter in the league, in his first NLL fight.

After the game, we hung out at the Wachovia Center for a little before finally heading back to the hotel.  Once we got back, I got in the car and headed back to Baltimore, finally getting in around 230 am.

Thoughts on the Face Off Classic?  I went and thought that the Cuse/UVa game started off like a typical Hop/Princeton game, but surely didnt dissapoint any fan in the second half and OT.  Than there is the Hop/Princeton game, that was ugly from the first 10 seconds and I think that is all I have to say about that one.  Towson squeaked away a win against Denver so it is good to see them sitting at .500, but with the road that they have ahead of them, it could be tough.

Have a good one and I will catch you soon….

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 02/25/2008

How is everyone doing?  It has been a while since I checked in, I hope that everyone is doing well.  I have been pretty busy over the last two weeks, even though I havent had a lot going on.  To start, the Titans have been on a winning streak lately and are now sitting at 4-4 with a huge matchup against the undefeated Wings this Friday night in the Wachovia Center.  I am excited to see the team, with our schedule, we have had more away games than home games, so I haven’t been able to see a game over the last few weeks.  With the game being on Friday night, we are going to have practice Thursday, which means that I am going to drive up to practice Thursday after school, and than home after practice so that I can go to work on Friday.  Friday after school, I am going to drive back up to Philly in order to be with the team before the game, and than back to Baltimore after the game.  I debated whether or not to stay in Philly Friday night, but its a big weekend in Baltimore this weekend with the Konica Minolta FaceOff Classic.  It is going to be nice to see Cuse vs UVA and Hop vs Princeton on Saturday.

Anyone have any predictions after the first real week of the season?  I dont have any yet, but I should by the end of this weekend.  I went to the Towson game and was hoping to see them beat up on their Charles Street rival Loyola, but at the end of the day was disappointed in the outcome.  I hope that the Tigers can get their game together because they have a tough schedule and it could get ugly if they play the way they did on Saturday.

Other than all of this stuff, I am continuing my workout and staying ready to play.  My school team start practice next Monday and I am looking forward to getting back out on the field to coach again.  It is going to be a tough season for us, in that we may not even have enough kids to have a 6v6 scrimmage, but it will be a good coaching test for myself and the other coaches.
Have a good one and I will catch you next time.

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 2/12/08

How is everyone doing?  I am doing well, been busy, but things are good.  Ok, so I said that I would get back after the Titans were back to .500.  Well, we had a tough loss of Friday to Minnesota, but the team battled back and beat a tough Buffalo team in OT on Sunday.  We are now sitting at 2-4 with a big game this weekend at Chicago.

Since I haven’t been playing, I have been able to work out a lot and try to get myself ready if my number gets called and if it doesn’t, than I am going to continue to get after it and get ready for outdoor to start.  Now, my workouts aren’t “Justin Berry” like, but are still pretty tough and I have added Yoga into the workout at least once a week.

Now onto the real reason why I am writing today.  I need opinions on something that happened last week……I am the head coach for the middle school basketball team at my school and we had our final game last week against Boys’ Latin (my aluma mater) and their head coach was my coach in high school.  I would describe myself as a pretty passionate coach, and I make sure that all of my kids play at least 10 minutes every game, winning or losing.  We are playing the game at BL and have referees that I have never seen before but seem to have reefed all of the BL home games.  I will not sit here and say that the refs called the game in favor of BL, but the calls were not going our way at all.  Throughout the game, I asked the refs, what the call was, or what happened, and questioned their decisions on other calls.  You may be saying….lay off the refs, or they are just doing their jobs, or its a middle school game.  My response to that is that this game was not fair to my team and I was getting fed up with it.  My team was playing the hardest they played all year and were coming off their best win and week of practice, I wasn’t about to let a referee ruin the final game of the season for my team.  So, with two minutes to play, there was a call that did not go my way, I questioned the referee and asked him how can you call that,  Than I let him know that he wasn’t refereeing the game fairly, we hadnt got a call all game and it was getting a little ridiculous.  His response was a Technical Foul, I asked him how and why and he gave me a second technical which got me kicked out of the game.  At this point of the game, we were down six and the calls kept getting worse.  I had one player foul out, another with four fouls and another with three fouls….they had one player with three fouls.  How does a kid foul out of a game when he only plays 10 minutes?  We in no way play dirty or tough, we play hard.  I have two kids that are over 5′7″ (at the most) and everyone else is small.

My question to you is…..Did I do the right thing?  We still lost the game, only by seven, but I felt that it was not fair to my kids.  If I am wrong, please tell me.  I have already had to write a letter to BL apologizing and have been disciplined by Calvert, so I have accepted what I did, I just want to know what you all think?

Until next time, have a good one and I will talk to you soon…..

Originally posted on LaxSpot on  02/05/2008

Whats up everyone?  Sorry I havent checked in in a while but I have been super busy for the last two weeks.  I wanted to start by congratulating all of the Giants fans out there.  Eventhough I said the Patriots were going to win, I was cheering for the Giants on Sunday.  The amazing thing about the game is that it is going to go down as the greates Super Bowl ever and the greatest play ever….Manning almost sacked, somehow getting out of it and throwing a 40 yard pass to Tyree (who?) who catches it with one hand and a helmet.  I am an Eli fan, I have actually drafted him the last two years in fantasy, but I didnt feel that he deserved the MVP, granted, he had a great game, but how about the D-line?  Justin Tuck and Osi Umanyoria (sp?) played awesome.

Ok, enough of the Super Bowl and on to everything else.  Last week was a tough one for me…I got moved down to the practice squad with the Titans (hopefully only a two week move), which I am really bummed about and we lost a tough game on Thursday night in our opener in The Garden.  Friday I had court in NYC for a workmens comp issue that I am dealing with from when I hurt my knee last year and after walking through the rain and catching the subway to Brooklyn, my court date gets postponed to April.  Eventually this will all get taken care of and I will be a whole lot happier.

On to the Titans…big week this week for the team.  We are now standing at 1-3 with a double header this weekend.  The team heads out Thursday night to Minnesota to face the Swarm who are sitting at 4-0 on Friday night.  I am not sure if they will fly out late Friday or early Saturday to head back to NY, but I will be there Saturday to meet up with the team.  Saturday will be film and rest in preperation to face off agains the Buffalo Bandits on Sunday.  After losing a tough one to these guys only 3 weeks ago, it will be nice to get a chance at redemption.

I will check in again next week, when the Titans are back to .500 at 3-3 after a great weekend of victories.

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 1/28/08

So I promised that I would give some feedback on my Yoga experience this weekend, so here it is.  I went to Yoga twice this weekend, and I have two completely different opinions of the classes and Yoga itself.  On Saturday morning I went to a 930 class where I was the only male and there were four total people there for the class.  It being my first time, I had no idea what to expect, but everyone (all 4 of them) were very nice in helping me get through the class.  Not knowing what to expect, I left the class with a pretty good feeling and actually thought to myself, “This was pretty easy, I don’t get the big fuss over how tough it is.”  This class was a little over an hour long and I felt pretty good when I left.

I went home to a house of jokes when I walked in the door, but after I told them about it, they were a little interested.  There was another class on Sunday at 1130 that I wanted to try and believe it or not, Christie and my friend Matt were interested in giving it a try.  Sunday morning rolls around and the three of us are off to Yoga.  When we show up there are already about six people there and by the time the class started there were 8 more people.  Going into this class I was expecting an easy hour of stretching and breathing, but after more than an hour and half my opinion of Yoga had completely changed from what it was on Saturday.  The girl who taught this class was amazing, she had me pushing my body to another level as I stretched deeper and longer.  My legs were burning, my arms are burning, Im sweating, but incredibly relaxed.  All three of us left this class feeling great, and like we just had a workout like we have never had before, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to putting it into my workout routine.

As I sit here trying to let you know what Yoga is all about, the only thing I can tell you is to give it a shot and form your own opinion.  I am pretty flexible, so I found that some of the poses and stretches were easy, others take lots of practice, but even if you are not very flexible, the instructor helps you so that you do not hurt yourself.  Give it shot and let me know what you think.

Busy week this week for me.  I have a busy Monday and Tuesday with school, schoool meetings, and basketball.  Wednesday I have school and than will drive up to Rahway, NJ for practice.  We play San Jose on Thursday and I cant wait to see Madison Square Garden.  Friday I have court in New York so that I can get all of the Workmens Compensation stuff settled from last year when I tore up my knee at training camp for the Titans.

Super Bowl weeekend, predictions?

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