Tag Archives: 2012
The Baltimore Ravens may have lost the two most important players in franchise history in Ray Lewis and Ed Reed this offseason, but that certainly wasn’t bringing anyone down on Friday. Just about everyone on the team that won Super Bowl XLVII received the ultimate tangible reward relating to such a victory — Super Bowl rings. Lewis, who retired after the win, and Reed, who signed with the Houston Texans, attended the ceremony at the team’s headquarters in Owings Mills, Md.
“I always told them I wanted them to really feel what the confetti felt like,” Lewis said. “Now to be here, to have something that symbolizes it, it’s the ultimate because now it connects us forever. It took me 12 years to get back and get another ring. I want them to cherish what this moment feels like right now while we’re world champs.”
Lewis was the lone player who was able to wear the two rings the franchise has earned — this new one, and the one the 2000 team won with a 34-7 thrashing of the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. For the younger guys, it was the first ring, and the experience was surreal.
“To have it so close, it finally hit me, what exactly we accomplished together,” defensive end Terrell Suggs said after the rings were presented. “It didn’t take a year. It took me 11 years to get it. It took Coach [John] Harbaugh [from] when he got here in 2008. It finally paid off, all that blood given. There’s not a word that describes what I’m feeling and all the emotions. The journey was long, but it was worth it. I will tell you this — I damn sure want to feel like this again.”
Lewis and quarterback Joe Flacco, who put up an MVP performance in the Ravens’ 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers, had input on the design of the ring. Designed by Jostens, the ring has 40 round-cut diamonds outlining the Ravens’ logo, and the franchise’s two Lombardi trophies. Inside the ring, one will find one of Harbaugh’s mottos — “The team, the team, the team” — and the scores of the Ravens’ playoff wins.
“It’s kind of un-wearable,” Flacco said with a smile. “When I see people for the first time, I’m sure they’re going to have some interest in seeing it or at least I’m going to have some interest in showing it off to them. So, I’m definitely going to bring it a couple of places. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m going to wear it, but it’s pretty special.”
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti ensured that John and David Modell, sons of the late former team owner Art Modell, were present for the ceremony and received rings. However, receiver Anquan Boldin and safety Bernard Pollard did not attend. Boldin was traded to the 49ers in the offseason, and Pollard signed with the Tennessee Titans, Those were two moves in a post-Super Bowl roster shake-up that also saw star outside linebacker Paul Kruger sign with the Cleveland Browns.
“It really symbolizes that this is the last time we’re all going to be together as a team, and it’s definitely a special moment,” receiver Torrey Smith said. ” I didn’t cry or anything, but I can see how women feel when they get a ring. It has a lot of different meanings. There will never be another season like this. We can win the Super Bowl every year while I’m in the league, and there will be nothing like this one.”
Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul undergoes back surgery, played through epidural shots in 2012
New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is undergoing back surgery Tuesday morning in Los Angeles, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
According to Schefter, the procedure is being performed by Dr. Robert Watkins, the same back surgeon who will operate on New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski later this month. Pierre-Paul reportedly played through his back injury last season, receiving “multiple epidural” shots to get through the season.
After coming off the bench as a rookie, Pierre-Paul, 24, has been a full-time starter the last two seasons, posting 23 sacks in his last 32 games. Pierre-Paul had a career-high 16.5 sacks during a breakout season in 2011, after which he was voted first-team All-Pro and named to his first Pro Bowl. Pierre-Paul returned to the Pro Bowl in 2012 after posting 6.5 sacks and returning his first career interception for a touchdown.
By undergoing back surgery this late in the offseason, Pierre-Paul will likely miss training camp and the preseason, though Schefter adds that Pierre-Paul is expected to be ready for September. The Giants can be expected to guard against not having Pierre-Paul for the Sept. 8 prime time season-opener against the Dallas Cowboys by placing the 2010 first-round pick out of South Florida on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp.
If Pierre-Paul is not ready for the start of the season, linebacker/defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka would get the start opposite Justin Tuck. Kiwanuka has been working at defensive end during the OTAs while 2013 third-round pick Damontre Moore learns the same hybrid linebacker/defensive end role that Kiwanuka has filled the last few seasons.
On March 4, one month and one day after the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII and quarterback Joe Flacco put forth an MVP performance in the biggest game of his life, the team rewarded the player with a six-year, $ 120.6 million contract that guaranteed him $ 52 million. The new contract ostensibly puts Flacco in Baltimore through the 2018 season, though a series of huge annual base salaries from 2016 through 2018 ($ 18 million/$ 20.6 million/$ 20 million) scream “restructure.” It seemed that everything was good between team and player, but the recent public opinion given by Joe Linta, Flacco’s agent, took some of the shine off the story.
Linta told USA Today’s Jim Corbett that in the interest of avoiding a $ 1 million charge in the final year of a contract offered before the 2012 season started, the Ravens walked away from securing Flacco’s services for less than they eventually did.
“I’ve never in my life seen a dumber move,” Linta said. “I guess people can say, ‘Well, Joe was dumb, too.’ It could have been [dumb], God forbid, if he got hurt. But $ 1 million to [team owner] Steve Bisciotti six years from now? That’s like 100 bucks for you or me today.”
Linta later tried a little damage control, but the appearance was not good. Especially when Tom Brady and Peyton Manning were re-doing their contracts to improve the salary cap situations for their teams.
And as WNST radio man Nestor Aparicio wrote in his recent book, “Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story,” it was Bisciotti who tried one last-ditch shot at a new contract for Flacco after Flacco and Linta turned down the original deal, which would have given Flacco an annual $ 1 million bonus if the Ravens won a Super Bowl during the contract, and a $ 2 million annual bonus if the Ravens won two Super Bowls. Bisciotti said that he had not talked to Flacco at all about his contract, but now, the stakes were higher, and he decided to intervene with a head-to-head in his office at the team’s Owings Mills, Md. facility:
“There are two things here that I don’t understand,” Bisciotti said to Flacco. “I don’t understand why you’re walking away from this deal? As maligned as you are in the press and as little faith as so many pundits have in you, we’re offering you a $ 90 million deal and you can go wave that in their face and say, ‘F**k you guys! See, the Ravens DO believe in me!’”
Flacco was nonplussed. “I really don’t care about my critics,” he bluntly told the Ravens owner.
Bisciotti was exasperated. “I don’t understand it. Joe, don’t you think you’d play better with a clear head and having this contract behind you?” he continued. “You won’t have to answer questions from anybody, and you can just focus on playing and winning the Super Bowl.”
Flacco said it again. “Steve, I appreciate the offer, but I really don’t care about the media, critics, any of it. I’ve gotta trust my agent, and he doesn’t want any incentives in contracts. And I’ve gotta leave it to him.”
Bisciotti reasoned that until they won a Super Bowl together neither one would get that ultimate respect they desired. “I’m offering you a better deal than the one you’re asking me for if you’re planning on winning the Super Bowl,” he said.
Flacco wasn’t upset or emotional, as is his custom. He simply smiled and said he was going to play out the year. Bisciotti said, “Well, I tried,” as he shook Flacco’s hand. “Then go out and put a few rings on my desk and get what you think you deserve.”
That Flacco put one ring on Bisciotti’s desk made the new deal and a new history with Flacco possible, Linta’s granstanding aside. But what if Flacco hadn’t helped the Ravens through the postseason, playing his best football when needed? Flacco said that he was willing to live with the risk if he got hurt, or didn’t play as well as expected.
“I was actually glad that he called me up to talk about it because it was a cool conversation to have,” Flacco said. “Even though we weren’t agreeing it was a great conversation. It’s one of those talks that grows a relationship, I think. Hey, I tried to throw him a bone and save him some money.”
It worked out for Flacco in the end, but one wonders if Linta would be defending charges regarding his own “dumb moves” had things gone differently.
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Having the crown for the best car of the year is certainly something, but claiming the top spot for the best-selling car is just plain good for business. It’s turns out that the Ford Focus is the world’s top-selling vehicle of 2012, with a close second going to the Toyota Corolla, and third place going to Ford’s F-series of trucks.
The data comes from Polk, who monitors and gathers information on global new-vehicle registration data. According to the numbers, Ford sold just over 1.02 million Focuses in 2012, Toyota sold just under 873,000 Corollas, and Ford again sold just over 785,500 F-series trucks. However, what’s most interesting is what vehicle took the fourth spot.
Coming in fourth place, selling almost 770,000 units, is the Wuling Zhiguang, which is an odd-looking mini van that sells in China. Wuling is co-owned by General Motors and SAIC Motors, so essentially, GM’s top-selling vehicle in 2012 was this weird-looking thing. The only other GM vehicle in the top 10 is the Chevy Cruze, which came in at number 8 with 661,000 sold.
Other vehicles that appeared in the top 10 list include the Toyota Camry with 729,800 units sold, the Ford Fiesta selling 723,100 units, the VW Golf selling just under 700,000, the Honda Civic with 651,160 units sold, and the Honda CR-V at 625,000 sold.
[via Automotive News]
The Association of American Publishers has published its 2012 revenue data, which shows that ebooks have grown steadily over the last decade and now represent nearly a quarter of US publishers’ sales at 22.55-percent. The industry saw a fairly large rise in revenue of 6-percent last year over 2011, and while the substantial number of ebook revenue has shown a steady increase in electronic books, there’s an indication that 2013 could see a slowing.
When the first ebook reader was launched, propelling ebooks into the mainstream, the publishing world, writers, and readers became quite polarized, with some stating that it was the salvation of the publishing industry and others decrying it as the last nail in its coffin. Regardless, ebook readers proved very popular, transforming from slow-functioning e-ink slates to Android tablets with relevant ebook reading apps.
This is easily seen in the numbers published by the AAP, which has 2002 trade publishers’ ebook revenue representing 0.05-percent of its overall net revenue. This rose to 0.50-percent in 2006, and to 1.18-percent in 2008. The large rise started in 2009 at 3.17-percent, reaching 16.98-percent in 2011, and finally 22.55-percent last year. As the TNW points out, this works out to a growth of 2.25-percent per year.
When breaking ebook sales in 2012 down by month, however, the numbers show that December was its lowest, indicating that 2013 could be a slower year for ebook sales than last year. Regardless, the overall numbers keep climbing steadily, and we’re sure to see 2013 be the year that trade publishers see ebook sales account for a quarter – or more – of their total net revenue.
[via The Next Web]
Ebooks represent nearly a quarter of 2012 publisher sales is written by Brittany Hillen & originally posted on SlashGear.
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INDIANAPOLIS — It would be a tough act for anyone to follow. When you’re in the wake of a quarterback class that featured three instant superstars in Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson, as well as many more possible long-term starters, it’s an outlier group that defies a sequel. For Geno Smith and Matt Barkley, the top two quarterbacks in the 2013 draft class, the hope is that they can avoid it looking like the move from “Caddyshack” to “Caddyshack II,” and shake the perception that this class is a sequel that isn’t worth watching. They had their chances to answer those questions in Friday’s scouting combine media session, and some were more confident than others.
West Virginia’s Smith, the consensus number-one prospect in this class, talked about just how high the bar has been set.
“Those guys changed expectations for many quarterbacks, let alone rookies. Those guys stepped right in, including Russell, and were leaders most of all from day one. And that’s the one thing I took from it. No matter what age difference, where you come from, or what pick you are — when you’re taken for that role as a quarterback in the NFL, you have to lead by example. That’s the thing all those guys did.
“They set the bar very high. I want to be one of those guys that step in and do the same thing.”
Some would say that he’s ready to do so. Others would look at a second-half swing the wrong way in the 2012 season and wonder if Smith is ready for prime time. The Mountaineers lost six of their last eight games after starting off 5-0, and while Smith’s slump wasn’t as bad as some assume, he’s still going to be hammered about it.
“We came into a new league. We came out real hot, we were fired up and ready to really prove ourselves. Inconsistency set in. I’m not going to say that anyone wasn’t working hard. When we went through that tough stretch, I was the first one to stand up in front of the team and let them know — we’re going to work even harder and we’re not going to put our heads down. The one thing I take from that experience is that being a leader, you’re not going to deal with fair situations at all times.
“The main thing I learned was that to stop whatever goes on, in my position as the leader of the team, I’ve got to set the bar and lead by example. That’s what I did for my team.”
Nobody questions Matt Barkley’s leadership, but the USC quarterback who threw 75 touchdowns and just 22 interceptions total in his last two seasons with the Trojans will have other inquiries to deal with. A shoulder injury will keep Barkley from throwing at the scouting combine, though he said on Friday that he’s “100 percent” on schedule to do everything at USC’s Pro Day on March 27. For now, eschewing all of the drills in Indianapolis means that Barkley can only impress teams in interviews with his overall game knowledge and character.
I’ve had a great time in the informal meetings so far,” Barkley said on Friday. “Once those formal interviews kick off, I definitely believe that’s a strength of mine in terms of being on the board and watching film. I’m a master of my offense. I think I can portray that to them. If they can put a face to my name, once they meet me, I feel like they’ll have a good impression.”
Barkley may bea “master of his offense,” but some wonder if he has the kind of arm that can make deep throws in tight windows with the kind of velocity the NFL will require. If he bristles at that question with NFL teams as he did when he was asked about it during his media session, those NFL teams will at least know that Barkley has a competitive streak.
I would disagree,” Barkley said. “Look at the tape. Watch the tape. I’m not going to go through certain throws, but you can watch the tape where I’ve made throws in tight windows. I can make every NFL throw that you need. So I would disagree.”
Some scouts and general managers might disagree with Barkley’s perception of his arm (as would I), but good for him for keeping his dander up. In the end, the challenge for Smith and Barkley — and every other quarterback in this class — will be to follow an impossible group into the NFL and prove their worth. As Barkley said, that’s all this class can do — comparisons or not.
“There’s been a lot of comparisons recently to last year’s rookie class, and well-deserved,” he said. “Those guys came right away and played and made their mark; won playoff games. There’s always going to be that comparison, whether it’s just or unjust. I don’t feel like there’s any pressure on my part to live up to them. I know every situation’s different. Whatever a player’s going into is going to be different than what they went into last year. I don’t feel there’s any need to live up to what they lived up to.
“I have my standards, and hopefully those are high enough.”
Standards are high. Whether the actual talent is enough to make that kind of mark is something we won’t know for a while.
Yesterday, we announced your picks for the 2012 Engadget Awards, and today it’s our turn. The Editors’ Choice selections below cover the same 15 categories you voted on earlier this month, but the results weren’t limited to reader-selected finalists. (In other words, it’s a favorite gadget free-for-all for this bunch of geeks.) Without further ado, we present our top products of 2012 — click past the break for the full list.