Producer of the Wes McElroy Show from 3pm - 6pm
Jesse has been with Clear Channel Media & Entertainment since 2010. He considers himself a Richmond transplant as he has lived in the River City for over 10 years now but grew up in the Western Maryland area. Deciding to attend VCU he studied Broadcast Journalism and English while spending time working at radio stations WVCW and WRIR. Jesse is currently the producer for the Wes McElroy Show as well as other shows for Sports Radio 910. Being from the Maryland area he is a diehard fan of the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Capitals. Besides his work at Sports Radio 910 he also writes a blog for VCU basketball’s radio website.
The Caps Celebrate Mike Riberio’s OT Goal In Game 5. Unfortunately It Would Be
The Last Moment The Team Would Enjoy In The Playoffs.
“The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” A very common phrase used in sports after it was coined by legendary broadcaster Jim McKay. Well even for how common it is, in my opinion, you can definitely call that the theme of the 2012-2013 Washington Capitals. In what was an odd season that started off with a lockout, the Caps entered into the 48-game campaign with a brand new head coach in beloved former Cap, Adam Oates. As players returned from the AHL, Canada, or Europe they were presented with a brand new system and virtually no training camp to learn it. As much as you want to say “Well they’re professionals”, hockey is a very precise and systematic game. For the Caps to start the season with a brand new system with no time to learn it is like you trying to juggle chainsaws after just one lesson of learning with beanbags. And the season would start much like how that would turn out as the first month Washington went 1-5-1.
Also during the first couple months of the season, Oates was trying to figure out what he had between the pipes. Braden Holtby was the hero of the 2012 playoffs, but the first-year head coach wanted to give veteran netminder Michal Neuvirth a chance to win back his starting job. Neuvirth would try to fight though injury but Holtby would end up seeing the bulk of the duty in goal starting 36 games and only getting pulled once. The 24-year old would be a bright spot for the team racking up 1,123 saves with .920 save average. As winter ended, much like the weather, the Capitals would start warming up. Washington would take advantage of a particularly weak year in the Southeast division and start a surge towards the top. The team started to look more comfortable in the new system and would finish March with a 9-6-1 record.
Superstar Alexander Ovechkin would switch positions and move to the right side of his line which allowed him to be a little less of a two-way player, and he and the team would benefit from the move. The Caps started the month of April with an 8-game winning streak and Ovie scored 14 goals and collected 22 points. The captain of the Caps will probably earn his 3rd MVP trophy after scoring 32 goals with 56 points for the season. Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Riberio were the pointman the Caps needed earning 48 and 49 points respectively; Backstrom finished the year with 40 assists 3rd most in the league. Often criticized defensemen Mike Green netted 12 goals which lead the NHL for scoring in that postion. Also veterans Eric Fehr, Matt Hendricks, Jay Beagle, and Jason Chimera would be solid for the Caps playing in 40+ games.
The surge Washington saw in the months of March and April lead the team to their 8th divisional title and their 5th out of the past 6 seasons. For the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs the Caps drew the team they have the most wins against in the postseason, the New York Rangers. This would also be the 4th time in the last 5 years the two met in the playoffs. The postseason started off the way the regular season ended as Washington jumped out to a 2 game lead but then when the series shifted to New York the Rangers would tie things up. The Caps would win game 5 with a Mike Riberio overtime goal but then New York would control the series the rest of the way. Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lindqvist would post 2 back-to-back shutouts with 27 saves in game 6 and 35 in game 7, which would be a disastrous finale for the Caps as New York won 5-0. That win would also be the first time in Rangers’ history that they won a game 7 on the road.
After the playoffs ended Ovechkin would act a little un-captain like questioning the refs for not calling penalties on the Rangers, and even accusing the league of fixing games to keep the Rangers, and the New York market, on TV. Like mentioned in the beginning, the 2012-2013 Washington Capitals saw the lowest of the lows and the highest of the highs, outside of lifting the cup. In my opinion at times the play look a little muddled and slow, but you could accord that too still working out the kinks of the new system. The future does look kind of bright for the Caps as young guys Marcus Johansson and Mathieu Perreault would solid contributors, as well as the backline of John Carlson and Karl Alzner. With a group of mid-level mid-twenties players, Washington is going to have to make some moves this offseason to try see if they can bring in more scoring. It will be interesting to see if owner Ted Leonsis endorses his faith in general manager George McPhee and waits to see what this team can do with a full training camp.
Its fight night here again in Richmond, as the Combat Sports Center will host CSC 36 Saturday at the Richmond Grand Hotel on Broad Street. The Combat Sports Challenge is Virginia's longest running MMA and Muay Thai fight series. The sanctioning body of the event, the WKA (World Kickboxing Association), is the oldest and largest organization of its kind with over 90 countries in its membership, and its U.S. headquarters are located right here in Richmond at the Combat Sports Center. Brian Crenshaw and the CSC crew work hard to bring you the best fight shows, as well as train to get you in the best shape of your life. Saturday’s card is sure to excite with 14 fights highlighted by; CSC trainer and fighter Ani Hilditch taking on Genesis Bravo for the WKA United States Strawweight title, Up and coming female pro fighter Tecia “Tiny Tornado” Torres versus Crystal “Sunshie” Parrish, and what is sure to be an absolute slugfest between two hard-hitting heavyweights in Kelly Leo and Kevin Shane Brooks. Below you can check out interviews with Hilditch, Torres, and CSC fighter Alex Loving. To get more info on the event go to www.CombatSportsCenter.com but hurry because the last event sold out and this one is sure to follow suit.
When I’m not in the Sports Radio 910 studios or sitting on press row for a VCU or Richmond game, I love to kick back with friends and enjoy some craft beer. If you listen to the Dan Patrick Show you know by now that Dan and the Danettes hooked up with Redhook Brewery to create Audible Ale. Audible is a smooth amber ale that you can crush during a game and not have to succumb to drinking ordinary light beer. Redhook brewery got its start in the 1980’s out of a transmission shop in Seattle, and grew into one of America’s first craft beer breweries. Audible is new to the brewery’s arsenal that also includes; ESB, Long Hammer IPA, a Pilsner, and few seasonal beers. Right now you can get it on draught at Bailey’s, Friday’s, Champps at Stony Point, and other locations; it will be available in bottles here in Richmond around mid-May.
Another thing that the brewery created, along with the Dan Patrick Show, is the mobile mancave. The mancave has all the essentials to enjoy the game outside of the house or at a tailgate. Enclosed in the 6 x 12 trailer are; a 39-inch HD flat screen TV, a futon, a kegerator, a grill, a cooler, and so much more. The mancave is currently on a tour to some of the biggest sporting events this spring and summer, because you can enter to win it!
The fine people from Redhook recently stopped by the XL102 Chili Cook-off where I got to hang out with them in the mancave and enjoy some Audible Ale. I also caught up with Redhook Brand Manager, Karmen Olson-Stevens, and we chatted about the story of Redhook, the creation of Audible, and how you can enter to win the mobile mancave. You can check that out conversation below along with the official press release from Redhook. Go out and enjoy the brew and let me know what you think. I may even come out with you to catch to a game and enjoy some Audible!
I had the privilege of covering the Richmond Spiders’ football team for the first time last season. It was great to watch Danny Rocco’s 1st year be a successful one as the Spiders earned a share of the CAA title. Seniors Cooper Taylor and Kendall Gaskins had all-American seasons, wide receiver Ben Edwards became a weapon, and young quarterback Michael Strauss stepped up big-time when starter John Laub went down with a broken ankle.
Michael Rocco, along with Phillip Sims, was a part of the unsuccessful rotating quarterback system at UVA in 2012. After that, Rocco decided to transfer due to the logjam at QB in Charlottesville, with the oblivious choice being to come to Richmond where his uncle is the coach. When a player transfers from a FBS (1-A) to a FCS (1-AA) program they usually can play right away, in Rocco’s case the NCAA said no way! Once again the NCAA drops the ball because Rocco is scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2014, the year he will be eligible again. Below is the official press release sent from the NCAA.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The NCAA has informed the University of Richmond that the Legislative Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief denied the school’s appeal for a one-time transfer exception for football student-athlete Michael Rocco.
NCAA bylaws require two seasons of remaining eligibility in order for a student-athlete to play immediately when transferring from the Football Bowl Subdivision to the Football Championship Subdivision. Rocco, a transfer from the University of Virginia, has one season of eligibility remaining and is on track to graduate in four years. He is currently enrolled at Richmond as a transfer in residence.
“While we are disappointed with the NCAA’s decision, we are ready to move on,” said head football coach Danny Rocco. “Michael will continue to practice and be an important contributor as we prepare for the 2013 season, while earning his degree from Richmond. We look forward to having him eligible to compete during the 2014 season.”
Michael Rocco, a quarterback, can continue to participate in practice sessions throughout the 2013 season, and will have one year of eligibility remaining for the 2014 season.
Recently I posted my predictions for the American League and I picked the Los Angeles Angels to win it all, below are my thoughts on the National League with my World Series pick at the bottom.
1 – Washington Nationals – Probably the most complete team in all of baseball. Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg will have a complete year together along with a healthy Jayson Werth. Rafael Soriano’s addition just makes their bullpen even more dangerous.
2– Atlanta Braves – The Chipper Jones-less era of the Braves looks like it will start off with a bang. With Atlanta bringing in the Upton Bros. to go along with Jayson Heyward good luck hitting the ball into that outfield. It’s not Smoltz-Maddux-Glavine but Hudson-Medlen-Minor is going to be dangerous to deal with.
3 – Philadelphia Phillies – If they were in any other division this year they could probably contend for the Wild Card. Cliff Lee and Roy Holliday may be too old to be the workhorses they once were but they can still get it done. Look for Ryan Howard to contend for comeback player of the year.
4 – New York Mets – Their biggest offseason acquisition was Marlon Byrd. David Wright would be smart to ask out of here by the trade deadline.
5 – Miami Marlins – I am not even going to dignify these guys with a prediction.
1 – Cincinnati Reds- They have built a team that will probably contend for the division for the next few years. Joey Votto is always a MVP candidate, and while their rotation doesn’t have the sexiest names they’re one of the most reliable in the league.
2 – Milwaukee Brewers - Remember this team won the division just two years ago. If Kyle Loshe can have the year he did last season him and Yovani Gallardo could be a very dangerous 1-2 combo. While accusations cloud Ryan Braun, look for Norichika Aoki to have a very quiet but productive year.
3 – St. Louis Cardinals – This is another team you never want to count out because they always seem to come out of nowhere and win it all. But this year’s Cards are too banged up in the wrong places. Chris Carpenter and Kyle Loshe’s absences are going to hurt this rotation.
4 – Pittsburgh Pirates – If last season is any indication about the direction of this franchise, then fans will be excited to know that if the season was only 110 games long they would win the division every year.
5 – Chicago Cubs – They brought in Edwin Jackson to be the number 2 guy in their rotation, the Cubs are Jackson’s 6th team since 2009.
1 – San Francisco Giants – Cain-Bumgarner- Vogelsong oh my! Also Barry Zito showed last season he can still win and Tim Lincecum showed that one day day he could be one nasty relief pitcher. Buster Posey will contend for the MVP once again. Also look for former Squirrels Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford to become everyday starters.
2 – Arizona Diamondbacks – While this team quietly contends for a playoff spot, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt will quietly become one of the best first basemen in the league. With their rotation filled with guys who can go the distance of the season, relief pitcher J.J Putz will try for his 3rd straight year with 30+ saves.
3 – Los Angeles Dodgers – Yes the Dodgers have some dangerous bats in Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Haley Ramirez but none of these guys can stay healthy. If they can though, and they get a CY young performance out of Clayton Kershaw, they can win the division.
4 – Colorado Rockies – It what could be Todd Helton’s swan song, young stars like Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez will try not to make it too embarrassing for him. Josh Rutledge seems to be another star on the rise, wish I could say the same thing about their pitching.
5 – San Diego Padres – I took one look at their lineup and went; never heard of - never heard of - never heard of - oh so that’s where Carlos Quientin is - never heard of - never heard of….well you can see where this is going.
Wild Card: Atlanta Braves over Arizona Diamondbacks
Divisional Round: Washington Nationals over Atlanta Braves 4-3
Cincinnati Reds over San Francisco Giants 4-2
NL Championship: Washington Nationals over Cincinnati Reds 4-3
World Series: Washington Nationals over Los Angeles Angels 4-3