1. M&T Bank Stadium named no. 2 stadium experience in the country.
Stadium Journey, a website that chronicles live sports experiences around the country, has already given Baltimore some pretty great props. The love continued this week when writer Paul Swaney debuted this year's rankings for all 32 NFL stadiums and M&T came in second. (Some stadium in Indy came in first, but who cares?) "From the Ravenswalk area outside of the stadium to the purple seats and concourse lighting, the Ravens have set a fine stage for enjoyment of NFL football," Swaney writes. "Expect the games to be loud inside the walls of the stadium . . . The fans are knowledgeable about all aspects of the game." M&T also got top rankings for its food, like an Attman's corned beef sandwich, and its special attention to the team's history—including the Johnny Unitas statue and having "the only marching band in professional football," which was started in 1947. Stadium Journey even gave Ravens' fans, which have been known to have an aggressive reputation, a five-star rating: "The fans will still respect fans who wear the opposing team's colors, but they still should not expect too much love."
2. Orioles acquired starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne from the Padres.
In exchange for minor league catcher JC Cosme, the Orioles have acquired starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne from the San Diego Padres, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. In 50 career major league games (34 starts), the right-handed pitcher is 9-16 with a 4.74 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 222 innings. Despaigne will add depth to the O's rotation, but the team is still searching for starting pitching. MASN's Roch Kubatko interviewed Orioles executive vice president about the acquisition. "Despaigne is a solid addition to our pitching staff because of his versatility," Duquette said. "He has proven he can start and serve as a long-relief option out of the bullpen . . . He is a good competitor and we expect him to compete for a spot in the back end of the rotation."
3. Justin Forsett assembled 22 NFL players to visit and donate to Flint, MI.
Last month, a state of emergency was declared in the Detroit suburb of Flint, Michigan, when the city's water supply was contaminated with toxic amounts of lead. Ravens running back Justin Forsett has a friend in Flint, who explained to him how bad the situation was, so Forsett picked up the phone, calling organizations and school boards to ask what the city needed. After realizing that people had already donated an overwhelming amount of bottled water, he heard that high schoolers couldn't shower after gym class, so he decided to donate wipes from his company ShowerPill, which he co-founded with his two college roommates. In addition, he got a group of 22 NFL players, including Steve Smith Sr., Torrey Smith, and Haloti Ngata, to donate $10,000 worth of supplies to relief efforts. Forsett and Torrey Smith plan on visiting Flint next week to directly assist with volunteer efforts.
In an interview with Vice, Forsett described it pretty simply: "We have this platform for a reason and it's a small window," he said. "This thing closes pretty quickly. While we have this platform, I think it's up to us to be able to go out and use it the right way, to bring awareness to causes such as this."
Booked my flight to Flint can't wait to get out there to serve!
— Justin Forsett (@JForsett) January 28, 2016
4. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored a whopping 41 points in UMD basketball game.
Holy crap. On Tuesday night, Maryland's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored a career-high 41 points during an 87-67 win against Purdue. She not only nearly doubled her career record, but the junior guard finished one point shy from matching Marissa Coleman's program high set in 2009. She did score the most points by any player in a Big Ten game this season. In total, Walker-Kimbrough scored 17 field goals out of 21 attempts, and made 97 percent of her two-point shots. "It honestly left me speechless," redshirt senior Brene Moseley told The Washington Post. “I’ve watched a lot. I’ve seen Tianna [Hawkins] and Alyssa [Thomas] get 20 and 30, but nothing as effortless as that was. There was such a flow to it. Definitely one of the best performances I’ve seen since I’ve been here.” Next up, the Terps play rival Michigan State in College Park tonight at 7 p.m.
5. Look out for Locust Point's Evan Washburn on field covering the Super Bowl.
Though we can't cheer on the Ravens during Sunday's big game, we can at least support one local on the field. Locust Point native and Severn School alum Evan Washburn has quickly risen up the ranks at CBS Sports since joining the team in 2014. Starting as a sideline reporter with the Greg Gumbel/Trent Green duo, he then worked the NCAA Tournament in March and the more recent NFL playoffs. This Sunday, he will be working with Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, and Tracy Wolfson as a sideline reporter during the Super Bowl.
While this is obviously a huge milestone for Washburn, it won't be quite as eventful as when he worked the recent AFC Championship game. While he was in Denver covering it, his pregnant wife's water broke a few weeks early. "I’m literally in the meeting, wrapping up Bill Belichick and Tom Brady is coming into the room, and my phone starts buzzing off the hook," Washburn said in an interview. "It’s from my dad who ended up making it to the hospital, getting texts literally after my son was being born. I quickly jump out of the room as everyone is shaking hands, call my wife to tell her how proud I am of her and how sorry I am I missed it, then hustle back in the room as Tom’s sitting down to start." Congrats to Washburn on the healthy baby boy and big break on Sunday!