As the Ravens groove into the second half with Cleveland and Cincinnati ahead in the coming days, Nestor Aparicio joins Dennis Koulatsos for a midseason Ravens report card and a second half prognosis that is all about keeping Number Eight on the field.
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Nestor Aparicio, Dennis Koulatsos
Dennis Koulatsos 00:01
Welcome back. My next guest is Nestor Aparicio doing great things on the airwaves and in our community. Always Nestor welcome in.
Nestor Aparicio 00:09
I’m getting ready for crab cakes. It’s crab cakes season. You know I it’s hearty right to trees leaves go down. It’s autumn you’ll be a football, good football. And I’m going to be doing the crabcake tour. So I’m out eating crabcakes have fun Chem two way mirror the lottery tickets and scratch offs and, and getting into the sub to stadium lease thing. I think too, as we get towards the end of the year, there’ll be a lot of stuff coming on that as things quiet down. But how are you doing? What’s going on with you, man? Through football games, you’re going to both games or no? Absolutely.
Dennis Koulatsos 00:41
You went to the game against the Seahawks looking forward to attending the browns and Bengals Scrum. But one thing I’ve noticed Nestor is that the ravens are getting a lot more national media love than local media, local media. Not that I listen to it, but I do have friends of mine who do and they’re like Dennis, you know, they’re they’re knocking Lamar again, there’s this and that. And, like guys, this is the right now. I mean, they’re arguably the best team in the NFL and you gotta give them accolades when they’re due and Lamar Jackson in particular, he’s playing at an MVP level. The team was healthy, they’re dominating teams and look at least for halfway through the season. There’s a lot to be happy about. Well, I mean,
Nestor Aparicio 01:20
I’ve been writing that right I mean, it’s there’s no secret to what’s going on with Chad steel and me and why I’m not a games why I’m not in the locker room and, and and all that but I am emceeing the American Cancer Society event on Thursday night so I still have some street cred in some places and I’ll shave up nice but there there’s there are naysayers I mean, we I go back to cow bowlers injury people cheering it right. Like I mean, that
Dennis Koulatsos 01:44
was the worst thing I’ve ever seen at a sporting event to this day. And I’m glad you brought it up because it was a low point, laying in the cold with Peyton Manning on national television. And you got the 20,000 knuckleheads here and the injury which was really really just just a horrible look. And the black high for the city of Baltimore.
Yeah, we were always at the classiest baseball fans, and I don’t know where that shark got jumped with jets fans or Eagles fans or, you know, like, but that was I mean, we’re almost 20 years ago, Dennis that was 2006 2007 Right? I mean, so low point. Where are we are now well, we have an African American quarterback and uh, you know, and and a primarily Caucasian fan base too. So like, I remember that with Tony banks and and Elvis grbac and Trent Dilfer and taking phone calls Jeff Blake and so, but Lamar to me, nobody understands it. The rest of the league didn’t understand it. No other team wanted in on him 10 months ago to change their whole program. The Ravens have been all in from the night d’acosta stayed in the room famously and said, We’re not going down and meeting the media, we still might we need to keep our eye on the board. And then they traded for him and went down. From that moment forward, they’ve been pretty committed to the belief that they could build something around him. And this is hard balls. Where does the revolution right? And I don’t know that they weren’t there in 19 when nobody else was prepared for it. And they were putting Willie Snead around him and they had big fat I mean, this is a young Gus Edwards who look like Jerome Bettis you know he built like bury word, you know, built like Christina coy at that time, and Mark Ingram and you know, Anthony Mitchell on this week who I’ve known forever and his boy Keaton’s running the ball now. And, you know, Anthony was like, he was always too small. He was always too small, it was always too small. And I’m thinking to myself, uh, he could play some level that Mark Ingram roll, because they’ve been trying to find 19 From the beginning, with more ideology to throw, right like, where Roman came in as the running game coordinator. 19 was different because Marshall yonder was there 19 was different because Ronnie Stanley was healthy, a lottery pick on the field earning his money. Mark Andrews wasn’t as beaten up, Lamar and that offense, Lamar took abuse. Lamar had bumps and bruises and purple marks. He was getting hit, he was hitting the ground. He was he was running around. They’ve managed to ideologically in his mind after paying him saying, Look, you’re paid, don’t run in the linebackers, which is great advice. It’s advice I would give him day one, right? Take care of the Roger Doran and all that. But keeping him healthy is clearly a priority. And I think when they look back at the draw play he ran when they were up nine points two weeks ago, and I’m out tweeting and hardball reads my tweets and stuff because he sends them to me. When I say I wouldn’t do that, I would think that when they go back and they do quality control, Lamar, you’re not running the ball up that got in the fourth quarter when we’re ahead as of right now, running the ball when we were ahead. Like we have other guys to do that. So as we get into this seven and two, what were they this time last year Dennis when what were the year before they were gone,
Dennis Koulatsos 05:03
they’ve been really good they were in first place in the division Absolutely. Take quarterback
Nestor Aparicio 05:07
away from anyone. Any of these places that don’t have a quarterback on tape, Joe burrows left calf away quad away for three, four weeks and watch him go around and watch us beat their ass. So keeping Lamar healthy and keeping as many look guys are gonna get hurt, somebody’s gonna break something, somebody’s not going to be able to play in Jacksonville, who’s playing right now. And they’re not waiting on a Calvary at this point, right? But they got old guys, man, they got guys in their 30s now and we’re getting into that we’re gonna play two games in four days that are huge games like games that in the fourth quarter on Thursday night, they’re going to do everything they can do to win because these two games they when they get to nine and two, now all of a sudden they can start thinking about assaulting things a little bit and losing a game here and there and what’s going to happen and being in better position than having to go out to San Francisco and Christmas night in crawl claw and then have Pittsburgh coming in here hungry and mad because they’re seven and nine or whatever they’re going to be at the time by they get here and they can screw the ravens and put them on the road because Cincinnati’s eighth one the rest of the way I look at all the possibilities the way they do the only possibilities Lamar has got to stay healthy because anybody wants to complain about Lamar or complain about how they’re I’m a Lamar complainer I’m a global market planner, when he’s running in the linebackers are getting hurt. I’m on the market player when he’s high or low on passes or making bad decisions or making bad reads. I’m you know, they gave him a more all this money. They think he can win there and he’s winning. And it’s there. You’re complaining about Lamar, I would put it on the you probably never liked Lamar to begin with.
Dennis Koulatsos 06:41
I would agree with you. And I think in hindsight retrospect what and what not. The difference between this version of the ravens and the 2019 team is that in 2019, as it were constructed in Leicester, they were having a hard time in game but they fell behind their offense was not constructed to score points quickly. So what a random tendency in the playoffs at home, and they fell behind, they panicked they went forward and forth in one at midfield, the last the field position game, and they got knocked out of the playoffs. The nice thing about this first of the Ravens is they do have a dynamic explosive passing game with a piece of that they’ve added and that they can call score points quickly via the air and in us in the event they fall behind. They can certainly come back from a two three touchdown deficit. You know,
Nestor Aparicio 07:27
that’s an interesting premise. And you know, I mean, I think you have some purple goggles about their two minute offense like I I think I need to like really see that and I think that’s the only time you see it. The only time you’re gonna see it is if something goes wrong Sunday right? I mean, if they’re winning 27 to 30 with nine minutes left to go in the fourth quarter they’ll give the ball to Gus Edwards they’ll try to take the air out of the ball that you know they’ll Lamar might even run right I mean I wouldn’t do that but that’s they’re still their best play Lamar running still their best play and until proven otherwise. That and Andrews across the middle when he’s not double team. Now he’s double team. That’s where what we talked about all summer really works ze flowers, Bateman healthy. Odell Beckham healthy, keep Mitchell out of the backfield, who can make people miss, like du Vernay on some run, like the things that they were trying to do in the offense. But I don’t know, man, if they’re losing, if they’re losing 19 to 13 with one minute and 13 seconds left to go. And Lamar gets the ball at the 23 yard line. And they got to score five points, not three. You know, and they got two timeouts. I want to see them do that against gym shorts on Sunday. Now that being said, you hope they don’t have to write their head, but it’s
Dennis Koulatsos 08:49
a good test for him. But I do think with eight games left for the regular season, they do have time to continue developing their passing game. The problem with the brands that the brands are gonna have is they got to shock Watson back but not only have they lost Nick Chubb for the season, they just lost their starting left tackle. So that offensive line is not what it was just a week ago and the Ravens offensive line right now it’s playing at such a high level. The Browns could be upset, they might want revenge, they have their quarterback back but that defensive lineman of the Ravens right now. And that difference in its totality is playing at a very high level and you put on a defense since day one. Well,
Nestor Aparicio 09:27
taking away the ball on Sunday for the Browns is the game right? I mean, I don’t think Deshaun Watson is going to lead three touchdown drives to field goals to get them to 27. Right like on his own in against this defense in this stadium with all the issues that you’ve talked about. And the weapons. I think this is a defensive game. It’s an under game, but if it comes in over game, if, say flowers get stripped at the 28 yard line, and the Browns fall on the ball and Lamar gets hit in the pocket the ball pops up just Just stuff right like this defense of Jim Schwartz and the browns. They are ways to try to win the game defensively by trying to take the ball away. Take field position away. That’s my that’s the battle for me. The battle for me is how will they fare against this really good defense. And to my point, you’re gonna 37 to three. You’re beating up the lions two weeks ago, they didn’t get out of bed. See oxen get off the plane at 10 o’clock in the morning, like early. That’s great. And it’s fun. And you win. And I went out to LA when they beat the rams and 19 and they’re, you know, Boat Racing these teams. Right. And that’s, that’s cool. But I think there is a sense that you think they have a passing game in in a two minute offense that I just haven’t seen. And I’ve seen them implode against the Colts implode against the Steelers. I’ll be it not with a lot of healthy players. I mean, they are playing. I’m not going to judge them on September any more than I’m going to judge the browns on Dorian Thompson whatever his name was eight weeks ago and losing 28 to three. I’ve talked about that all week with Daryl Ryder this week. And with Luke as well about this Browns game and what we saw two months ago, it wasn’t the real Ravens. We had six seven starters missing from that game. And it certainly wasn’t the real Browns nor a team that went out and beat Arizona last week. Look, the Ravens win this game and they’re the better team but the Browns are a lot more dangerous than the days of Spurgeon when and who’s their coach this year and Butch Davis and like all of that even Baker Mayfield like this is just a better team because the defense is more formidable and the defense is gonna bring a lunch pail on Sunday and if it’s 24 to three at halftime and the Ravens are winning because they just back the browns up or because the Ravens defense has taken the ball away twice and Lamar is just pop little touchdowns and they’re winning 24 to three and a half time again. That’s very possible I don’t think the Browns are gonna be one to 24 to three at halftime. Certainly the ravens are the better team keep an eye on the ball because like the Browns defense is going to be the best defense they’re going to see for a little while but certainly more than Thursday night which is going to be a slop fest either way well and we’ll get to that and we get to that but you and I’ll get to get get get get together on my show Monday morning for that you’ll be here next Thursday to but Browns defense this is a great this is a great defense. Let’s see how they do with it at home that let’s let’s see them manage it. Let’s see Lamar have three touchdown drives to field goals. Let’s see the offense manufacture 27 points without taking the ball away. They’ll win the game handily. If they do that, I believe that but mistakes they killed them in the Colts game killed them in the Steelers game put put other teams in games teams into the game with them. Arizona was in the game because of mistakes. They play differently at home and the division plays differently against them. These are these are two teams poised to come in and try to keep their seasons alive in seasons of belief and their this is a big big week for the Ravens. I mean, this is this is fun. This is what it’s all about. This is what was missing during the plague and this is this is a lot of fun that the other teams are good. Now it’s a lot of
Dennis Koulatsos 13:05
fun and looks like the the stadium of the crowd is changing. It’s It’s morphing it’s a younger crowd some of the old The old guard is fading away for a number of reasons Nestor so in fact, I think we need to do a public service announcement turn to when to stand up and when to sit down and I mean
Nestor Aparicio 13:24
I saw it on the scoreboard because I watch it on TV now thanks to Chad steel, and I saw an endzone shot at one point. And I saw the scoreboard It’s first time I’ve seen the scoreboard and two years because I haven’t been in the stadium and it said visiting team hates noise. Right right.
Dennis Koulatsos 13:40
Right wants you to be quiet. Be quiet. Yeah, something that’s
Nestor Aparicio 13:43
expansion level but they have to master made fun of that stuff in the 90s when I would go on the road to a place and I’d be like, because our fans didn’t know our fans mate. Do you remember the Raiders game and 96 our fans were making noise and we were on offense they had no idea how to be I had to go on the radio and teach people
Dennis Koulatsos 14:01
you Brian Billick a lot of people had to teach people how to behave what drives me nuts as a season ticket holder since 1996 is fans getting up in the middle of a play and walking in front of you whether they’re coming to your row or leaving your row and not understanding that you’re trying to watch the game and that they should leave their seat vacate receipt in between plays, not when a game is going on. So the stadium etiquette the lesson needs to get out there. Nestor as these new fans come through the gate and they mean well I get that but they don’t understand. I mean I had a guy a couple of weeks ago. kept standing in front of me. Like look, I paid I paid the same money as you did I get to stand up when I said see how the stadium is scalloped See how it’s how it stair step that way the person behind can see in front of a better than person in front of them. I said to him the stadium would have been flat if if they want all of us to stand. Can we agree upon that? Of course we couldn’t agree upon that but it is what it is. Well,
Nestor Aparicio 14:57
I did a concert etiquette thing with Mike Rosenfeld, our Chief Digital Officer this week and it really lingered and ran like he was he asked me about my Sammy Hagar show and YouTube and seeing the sphere, we got into it, you know, and we didn’t talk any football, we want to talk about like music. And it really turned, I went to my mom’s hometown and Abbey Ville, right. And I went into the Little Theater in Abbey Ville. Um, and it’s just this beautiful, it’s an opera house, restored Opera House in the 1800s. I mean, it’s unbelievable. And on the wall, there was a sign if you go to the front of Baltimore positive, right now you can read the sign. I can, I’ll read it off to you because it made me chuckle it’s an old time sign. It’s like black and white. I put it up on the front of the website for everybody to enjoy. And it’s it’s it’s been my experience at John Mayer at at Billy Joel this just this might have been to a concert this month where somebody hasn’t been kind of a jerk you know, making noise during a slow part of a song or you know, when they shouldn’t be so that says notice please do not talk during acts at is it and as it annoys those about you and prevents a perfect perfect hearing of the entertainment. I’ve done a terrible job of reading that sign. But it’s it’s basically s t f you please but I chose singing Viana stop John Mayer is singing comfortable right now with a guitar in his voice for 14,000 people, please. So hey man, Springsteen sometime with Jewish people. I saw Mellencamp stuck in many camps kind of prickly. I saw him stop a concert at the Lyric. literally stop a concert, put the lights on and say throw him out. I want him out of here right now. IT security came down throw him out. He’s like, are we gonna go back to the show now? Like, so? When you say that people don’t know how to act. I go back to I’ve been on the radio 32 years and I this is scouts honor. When I was nasty Nestor in 1993 9495. Before there was a football team here. I was appalled at Camden Yards. Right? I would go to Camden Yards. 3.6 million people so it’s full full full every night. Right? You remember this? You know? 9293 9495 No football, baseball only Cal Ripken Johnny Oates 48,000 Every night downtown Hooters Phillips the whole deal, right? The baseball etiquette of the fan base at that time was appalling. I mean, three to pitch seventh inning first and third runners in motion. Hey, I need to cotton candy. You know, like, and I used to go on the radio and go nuts about that. When I was down at the lower Baltimore Nighty night. So I don’t know better or worse here, get off my lawn. I’m now 55. And I’m, well, here’s the difference with the concert thing, Dennis. And same thing with you sitting in the club level. And it ain’t cheap. Now,
Dennis Koulatsos 17:55
you’re paying, you’re paying good money and you expect a good experience.
Nestor Aparicio 17:59
And at a concert, they’re not putting the replay on the board for me. And, you know, and the time it takes me to turn around and tell somebody to shut up in the first verse of a ballad, and they say fu inevitably because they’re probably drunk. You know what I mean? Using their loud voice. And I’m thinking to myself, didn’t we all like learn? Miss wasa was my kindergarten teacher. And she’s still alive and I love her she’s down and you will leave Florida I wish I were going to Jacksonville on this trip. You should quiet voice Nestor. You know, so
Dennis Koulatsos 18:34
there’s nothing think about an Eagles concert and two young ladies in front of you are doing selfies the whole time and are singing at the top of their lungs.
Nestor Aparicio 18:44
Hey, what do you have for lunch today? He seems so pretty. I love you. So, you know, this was me and Mike Song back in the day, and I’ll shut off.
Dennis Koulatsos 18:54
So it was all about them at the concert and their social media presence had nothing to do with them. Being quiet and enjoying an iconic act. Like the Eagles. My
Nestor Aparicio 19:05
wife and I went to see Stevie Wonder at the arena. Maybe before she had cancer maybe about 1012 years ago. Stevie went we had beautiful seats. It was like a cocktail party. Now I’m thinking to myself, What are you possibly talking about? When Stevie Wonder is singing my Cherie amour. I mean, a singing overjoyed I mean, what is wrong with so these are the same people at the football game. And there is this American thing of my car, my highway, I’ll drive I want I’ll pay what I want. I’ll do what I want stay and when I want to serve, like all that’s part of this. And if you get the wrong person around you. I told Mike Rosenfeld this and I don’t want to get too off my lawn, but I told him I said, my wife yelled at these girls who were drunk behind his a John Mayer, and I said their stop. This is going to be a fight. Just walk. We’re just going to go over there. I’m not going to have a debate about etiquette. When you’re obviously you don’t you don’t have a sensibility about it right? Like this guy standing up in front of you. He has, you’re not going to talk any sense into him, I guess I don’t know, standing on offense or standing what defense
Dennis Koulatsos 20:13
the whole game matter, it didn’t matter, didn’t matter had a cost security and actually ended up removing him. Because he didn’t want to get it. He didn’t, didn’t understand didn’t want to comprehend the concept of why the stadium was built a certain way I
Nestor Aparicio 20:30
could understand the concept of community like if 000 If I’m not knowing everybody, it’s like, I paid
Dennis Koulatsos 20:39
for the seats, I get this. I get to do whatever I want. Because I paid for the seat. I can stand up the whole damn game if I want to. Well, the other
Nestor Aparicio 20:45
thing is what they would yell to Lamar or to John Harbaugh, you know, or what they say to players. Right down. Man, I, I’ve been a part of that. I mean, I remember Isaac Bruce, the wide receiver or Gramps, Mike, they played at Memorial Stadium and I’m down on the field first year, right? I’m down on the field, the last five minutes of the game that used to be the rule last five minutes your past and it was last two minutes. And then Chad Steele said I’m not a real media member. So the the slope is slid over 30 years from access, right? But I was on the sidelines on the Rams sideline on there. Forget this right by the first base dug out a 33rd street and some rabid fans were giving it to him and and it wasn’t hateful racial. It wasn’t it was just you suck. You know, it was like a, it was a basic you suck. You know, it wasn’t anything completely over the learned nothing. But I heard that I heard and I saw him come over and crotch chop and and do stuff that if a camera were on him, Roger Goodell would have been sending notes and stuff. And it always affected me when he was up for Hall of Fame. And so that was five feet away from him when he was telling fans to like, you know, basically the same offer Lamar Jackson offered to that nice fan in Pennsylvania last year, basically. And I’m thinking this is 1996. Right? And I’m thinking to myself, You know what, these players here when they go in and out of hotels, when they go in and out of places, what Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin would here 30 years ago or whatever, and even what Adam Jones heard in the outfield at Fenway Park, you know, I’m sure racial and just awful stuff. You know, I feel for some of the guys, you know, for what a professional wrestler has to do going to the ring. And you know, you don’t hear it, but you hear it and I, I just hope fans can be better. I mean, we’re all trying to be better. You know what I mean? As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned more about the power of the radio to try to not have people cheer with how bowler gets hurt, not stand in front of Dennis and be a jerk not yell awful things that football players you know, like, do
Dennis Koulatsos 22:43
better be better. Great stuff. As always, Nestor I appreciate you What do you have going on?
Nestor Aparicio 22:48
Just crabcake tours and and this stadium lease that nobody else is everybody in the marketplace is afraid to cover it the right way and afraid to get all the facts I’m trying to in long form. And I really, I mean, you’re one of the smartest people I know, you’re one of your big supporter of everything we do here and a big supporter of Baltimore, it’s 70 minutes long the interview I have with Tom Kelso, I’m planning on more. But this is not something that you’re going to understand in reading it in the Baltimore Sun in two pieces. It’s not something you’re going to understand by listening to me once or just trusting me. It really, it’s complex. And it involves the next 30 years of these franchises. And it really involves who’s going to fix it, what the idea is going to be and I don’t, I know you’ve got to run on your show, we’ll get back to it, I’m gonna have plenty of time to talk about this. I can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time. But for the city. And for a guy like me that invested in the city invested in this view, if you’re watching the video behind me, and I lost a quarter of a million dollars living downtown for 19 years, I sold my place for Georgia $50,000 less than I put into it. Now they’re going to add 900 more units. I’m asking questions about that. I’m trying to get David rambled on the show. I’m having other people on at the crabcake tour. But more than that we all talk about the city and how important it is. And I’m Baltimore positive and like, like, what’s the idea? What’s the idea? Because it’s not about the land, the land sitting there. It’s not about the warehouse, or the little sports legends museum or what casino they can put in or top golf, or it’s about the idea. And it’s, it’s about the totality. And I would really, really hope that anybody out there that’s paid attention to what the Angelus family’s done with the Orioles have done and what’s the big shot he’s done over the last 2530 years and their experience with downtown when I talk about going down to Hooters and Phillips 3.6 million people and what that felt like and what 100 wins felt like this year what the experience ago I even got Luke to admit like it’s not as good as it could be. There should be things before the games after games like there are in Cincinnati, Philadelphia St. Louis, if you go to any of these places, you’ll see what a baseball experience could and should be Chicago for sure Northside Chicago. For me, it’s who is going to ideologically have Money, David Bramble in his land, or and the land around the stadium. And right now they’re telling me the big, big idea. And they’re going to take away the Maryland stadium authority and make John angelos, just give him all the land and let him do whatever he wants to do as though that’s going to produce the idea. Because it goes back to the idea. It’s not about me or Peter or John or Brandon Scott or Western. It’s not about any of that. It’s about what’s going to be sustainable. What’s the idea? Governor Schaefer, Mayor Schaefer had an idea. Aquarium Science Center, Disney World harbor place history, safe restaurants, tourism crabcakes Inner Harbor boat rides, beauty lights, water, that was his idea. In a nutshell, in 1971, if I could go back in time, he would have this Walt Disney vision. The way Mr. Coons had a vision to sell cars the way I had a vision to do sports radio, like where’s the vision and then give the money to that person or put oversight like a stadium authority over it so we can we can have oversight and the fact that the the oversight, the power is trying to be taken away and the money what’s going on here, Dennis is really, I don’t want to call it filthy. It’s dirty, bordering on filthy and I’m investigating how unclean it is because it’s not clean.
Dennis Koulatsos 26:27
Alright, man, we’ll well more than that. I’m sure any upcoming shows you stay. Well keep doing great things. We’ll take a break here. Come back right after this.