1. Steve Smith, Justin Tucker, and fireworks impress during Ravens open practice.
More than 22,000 Ravens fans piled into M&T Bank Stadium on Monday night for Ravens open practice. Noticeably absent from the field was the injured wide receiver Breshad Perriman, but vet Steve Smith Sr. (in a Robo Cop-like facemask) impressed the crowd with several athletic catches in the end zone. But the loudest cheers came for kicker Justin Tucker, whose field goal sequence grew longer with each snap: first a 33-yarder, then 44, and 51 was good, too. But the crowd erupted when he kicked a 64-yard field goal that would have tied the NFL record if it was during a regular game. We've also got to give a shout-out to the mesmerizing fireworks show at the event, complete with explosives going off on the field, an intricate laser show and (naturally) a "Seven Nation Army" singalong. Feels good to know that football is back in Baltimore.
2. Ravens deny they tipped off the Colts.
Documents released in the Tom Brady “DeflateGate” case suggest that the Ravens may have tipped off the Colts about the possibility of the Patriots doctoring balls. But the Ravens are still denying the report.
“I’ve been consistent from the beginning when asked about whether the Ravens tipped off the Colts about deflated footballs," Coach John Harbaugh said in a statement released Wednesday by the Ravens. "I’ll say it again—we didn’t. We knew nothing about deflated footballs.” The Ravens maintain that they gave Colts coach Chuck Pagano, a former Ravens defensive coordinator, a general tip about paying attention to how the refs rotated kicking balls into the game. The Ravens say that it is not unusual for teams to talk in general terms about field conditions and the conditions of the balls.
However, an email from Colts equipment manager Sean Sullivan to Colts general manager Ryan Grigson suggests otherwise: In it, he relates a phone call where Ravens special team coach Jerry Rosburg specifically tipped off Pagano about the Patriots letting some air out of the ball with a needle. The Ravens say such a tip never occurred.
3. Misty Copeland makes dreams come true.
Misty Copeland, Under Armour client and the first African-American principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre’s history, came to Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis Museum on Saturday to sign her new book, Firebird, pose for some pictures, and make fangirl dreams come true. “Try not to get caught up in the small things, like what people think of you,” she told the crowd of 1,000 that included many starstruck young girls in tiaras and tutus. “And don’t compare yourselves to other people. That’s probably one of the biggest downfalls that people have is trying to be someone you will never be.”
4. Chris Davis hits grand slam, continuing offensive surge.
Last night Chris Davis continued his epic offensive performance when he hit a full-count pitch over the centerfield wall for an extra-inning grand slam, see video below. This is coming during a peak time for Davis who, over the past 15 games, has hit nine home runs, 26 RBIs, and has bat .309. Not to mention that this is his second grand slam in less than two weeks. The slugger is currently leading the American League in RBIs with 79. Hearing Gary Thorne shout "Grand salami!" really made our week.
5. Terps Men's Basketball ranked number one (!) in ESPN'S "Way Too Early" poll.
Yeah, it's just August, but as far as we're concerned, it's never too easy to say that the Terps are the best team in men's college hoops.
Additional reporting was provided by digital editor Jess Mayhugh.