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Late For Work 3/15: His FINE, Not McClain, Chopped in Half

Plus NFLPA planning draft boycott, Ravens should pass on Rd. 1 WR, more fights for Zibby.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 at 8:35 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

His FINE, Not McClain, Chopped In Half

If you read “Late for Work” yesterday, you learned linebacker Jameel McClain’s $40,000 fine for his Week 13 hit to Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller was cut in half after an appeal.

To be clear, the linebacker’s FINE was cut in half. McClain himself was not chopped.

But Ravens “Flock” member, scrock, visited NFL.com’s website and was led to believe the latter had occurred when he read this title on the homepage, “Report: Ravens LB McClain chopped in half.”

Maybe the labor disputes and the he-said, he-said rhetoric is slowly dulling my standards for comedy, but I literally laughed out loud with this one – all in good fun of course. As a person who writes headlines for BaltimoreRavens.com, I too know how it feels to jumble a headline … or two.

The website has since corrected its title, but that didn’t stop Ravens fans from using the opportunity to get their “Modern Family” Phil Dunphy-like puns on.

Wrote True to scrock: “Nice catch. You’re a cut above the rest. ;)

Asked  Shawn`: “So … is he coming back next season?”

Replied thewarden86: “Yes, but he’ll only be half the man he used to.”

Ba-dum-ch!

NFLPA Asks Prospects to Boycott Draft

ESPN’s Mike Sando called the move “the height of pettiness” in the labor dispute and “another slap in the face” to fans.

The columnist is referring to the decertified NFL Players Association’s request to 17 top draft prospects to not attend the 2011 NFL Draft next month, as reported by Adam Schefter.

These 17 players would likely receive an invitation from the NFL to Radio City Music Hall to walk on stage when their names get called, shake hands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and do interviews with ESPN or NFL Network.

Schefter’s source said the edict is a recommendation, not an explicit order, so it would be up to the prospects on whether they would attend. The report added the union plans on giving the prospects the “same experience down the street,” but nobody knows what that would look like yet. They could place the players on competing television networks or social media platforms.

“The NFLPA naturally wants to make life tougher for the league in big and small ways during the lockout,” wrote Sando. “That is understandable, but urging players to avoid such a quintessential fan-friendly event would come off as yet another slap in the face for the people paying the bills.”

One treasure Ravens fans will always have is this footage from 2009 when their team selected first-round tackle and future starter Michael Oher. Nothing can replace the images of Oher celebrating his triumph over homelessness in the streets of Memphis, Tenn. with his adoptive family, the Tuohy’s, on stage and in front of cameras.

Of course, the draft will go on regardless of a boycott and maybe the union really can make it so the prospects and fans get the “same experience down the street.”

But Sando says nobody will benefit. Not the college players who dream of this moment, not the fans and not even the NFLPA, who would “gain no traction in the court of public opinion.”

Zenitz: Ravens Should Pass On Receiver in Round One

In a poll recently conducted on BaltimoreRavens.com, 24 percent of 3,360 fans said wide receiver was the Ravens’ biggest draft need.

But does that mean Baltimore should target the position in the first round?

CSNBaltimore.com’s Matt Zenitz thinks that would be an unwise move.

“After A.J Green (Georgia) and Julio Jones (Alabama) come off the board, most likely, somewhere in the top 15 picks, it’s just hard to feel entirely comfortable investing a first-round pick in what will be left at the wide receiver position,” wrote Zenitz.

The columnist explained there would still be plenty of talent after the top two receivers come off the board – including Pittsburgh’s Jon Baldwin, Maryland’s Torrey Smith, Kentucky’s Randall Cobb and Miami’s Leonard Hankerson –  but each prospect presents his own question marks and the Ravens wouldn’t be able to justify spending their 26th pick on any of them.

Wrote Zenitz, “The Ravens would be much better suited to wait and hope that someone like Hankerson, Baldwin or Smith falls to them in the second round rather than reaching on one of them in the first.”

Zbikowski Has Two More Bouts in Atlantic City

After a first-round technical knockout win in Las Vegas Saturday night, Ravens safety Tom Zbikwoski has already scheduled two more boxing bouts in Atlantic City.

“Gettin ready for another fight…March 26th in AC…Stay tuned,” Tommy Z wrote on Twitter. His opponent has not officially been determined.

Zbikowski is fighting on the undercard of a major event at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, reports ProFootballTalk. The main event, featuring Yuriorkis Gamboa and Jorge Solis, will be on HBO, but Zbikowski’s matchup is not expected to be televised.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Zibby has penciled in a second fight in Atlantic City, scheduled for April 9.

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