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Late For Work 5/30: Ravens Fan Blasts Into Space


Ravens Fan Blasts Into Space

A Russian spacecraft successfully docked at the International Space Station late Wednesday night, and it was carrying a Baltimore native who ensured his favorite team was represented hovering above the Earth's orbit.

Cockeysville's Reid Wiseman, 38, has been training to be an astronaut since 2009 when he was accepted into NASA's astronaut training. Five years later, his dream of going into space was finally realized and is bringing a little Ravens spirit with him.

"Go Ravens! … I've got my jersey up there," Wiseman said in the WJZ video below.

Before becoming an astronaut, Wiseman was a 1993 graduate of Dulaney High School. After college, he entered the Navy and became a commander, flying F-18s in combat. He served in five deployments, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wisemen spent the last several months in Star City, Russia, training for his mission to the International Space Station. His whole family went to Russia to watch the launch and wish Reid a safe journey.

"It's such a great feeling to be at the end of this journey and look back at how fantastic this road has been to get here. It's been exciting every stop of the way for me," Wiseman said.

He will spend six months in space, and is scheduled to make at least two space walks.

"You know, you see that space station go over and it just looked like a falling star. And this time, we'll think of people that are really on there. And I just want a safe return and a good family reunion," said father Bill Wiseman.

Congratulations, Reid! We wish you a safe and successful journey, and appreciate your Ravens pride.

Hensley: Harbaugh Hasn't Lost Control Of Ravens

It would be easy to say Head Coach John Harbaugh has lost control of his locker room. It just wouldn't be accurate, says ESPN's Jamison Hensley.

The Ravens saw three of their players arrested in the span of 22 days earlier this offseason. Over the weekend, rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro was charged with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, and three Ravens were reportedly asked to leave a beach club for being too intoxicated.

It's been a recent trend that the head coach is "very concerned" with and has addressed on multiple occasions with his players.

But Hensley says Harbaugh isn't to blame, and you should put this offseason in perspective with his six years at the helm.

"Before this year, only four Ravens had been arrested in Harbaugh's six seasons," Hensley wrote. "That's why you have to give him the benefit of the doubt to right the ship. He's earned it."

Hensley commended Harbaugh for the way he stood in front of media Thursday, taking questions for a significant stretch about the incidents. Harbaugh has been proactive with handling repeated issues, including running 18 gassers with Taliaferro Tuesday.

 "Harbaugh isn't chalking up these incidents to coincidence or a bad run of luck after not having any major arrests in recent years," Hensley wrote. "Brushing this off would have rightfully sounded alarms in regards to Harbaugh's leadership. More importantly, Harbaugh made it clear that these mistakes won't be tolerated. In talking to reporters, he mentioned four times that players will get cut for repeated mistakes." 

The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston agrees with Hensley.

Preston says there "isn't much" the Ravens can do, and that the responsibility of how players behave off the field ultimately falls on the players themselves.

"The Ravens have seminars and meetings every year in which they bring in experts as speakers to talk about such issues as alcohol, drugs, finances and possession of firearms. They hire lawyers and counselors to advise the players," Preston wrote. "Short of following players around, there is little else they can do. Some years are better than others. This offseason has been ugly.

"It comes down to individual decisions. It's the same lesson most of us teach our children, and unfortunately a lot of players are as irresponsible as young kids. Millions of dollars changes their financial situation but not their IQ."

Harbaugh said he was open to implementing more rules, including keeping the veterans in training camp environment longer so they can advise the young players, but Hensley says Harbaugh can't be present at casinos or bars across the country to watch more than 90 players.

"As for the Ravens, they aren't out of control, just on a bad run," added Preston.

Poll: Bothered Suggs, Ngata, Canty Skip OTAs?

It's a pretty standard practice for established veterans not to attend voluntary workouts and organized team activities.

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers are among those making headlines for absences this week. Ravens leaders Ray Lewis and Ed Reed routinely skipped the voluntary sessions.

This week, the Ravens had very good attendance at their first week of OTAs with all offensive players present. On defense, Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, Pro Bowl nose tackle Haloti Ngata and veteran defensive end Chris Canty were the only ones not there.

Because the sessions are voluntary, Russell Street Report wants to know if fans are really bothered when established guys miss out.

Based on the results of the website's poll (312 voters), it seems fans are split, but a majority say they don't have a problem as long as vets show up in shape for mandatory practices.

What statement best describes your feeling about Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and Chris Canty sitting out OTA's?

  • No big deal...they call them voluntary for a reason (19%) 
  • Only a problem if the show up out of shape to mandatory mini-camp (46%) 
  • Vets like these 3 should participate, lead by example (33%) 

Poll: Over/Under On 8.5 Ravens Wins? While we're looking at poll results …

Oddsmaker Bovada released its Ravens' 2014 projected wins total along with the other AFC North teams. It predicts a similar ending to 2013, with Baltimore winning just 8.5 games.

Over/under win totals 
Bengals: 9 
Ravens: 8.5 
Steelers: 8.5 
Browns: 6.5 

SportsNation wanted to know if fans would take the over or under on 8.5 wins. Of 16,442 fans, a majority (57 percent) would bet their money that the Ravens finish with another 8-8 season or worse.

What say you?

Tucker Impersonates William Shatner, Does Not Listen To Bieber

I always love myself a Justin Tucker interview. He's just too much fun.

In the NFL Network interview below, the Ravens kicker talked about his first football memory in the 10th grade when he was trying to make his varsity high school football team as the kicker.

Tucker shanked the ball, hitting a line drive right over his coach's head. His coach apparently talked like actor William Shatner, best known for his role in "Star Trek."

That's when Tuck pulled out his Shatner impersonation.

Check it out below, along with Tucker denying that he listens to Justin Bieber and explaining his odd pre-game ritual that he stole from Deion Sanders.

Quick Hits

  • @MikePrestonSun: Dont want to get everyone excited, but I liked watching second year player at right OT. The kid looked comfortable. [Twitter]
  • @MikePrestonSun: Running back Justin Forsett took most of the reps with the first team in place of Ray Rice, and he looked exceptionally quick. [Twitter]
  • Ray Rice ”looked good” in his first week of organized workouts. "He's in shape. He's worked hard that way, and he's excited to get out there," Harbaugh said. "The football field is a place, it's a safe haven for him right now. And he likes being out there. But he needs to do a good job, just like they all do." [The Baltimore Sun]
  • @BaltimoreLuke: Former #Ravens offensive lineman Ramon Harewood was waived by the #Broncos today. [Twitter]
  • @LWebb21: Coach Harbaugh will be at my Charity Softball Game Sunday at 3:30 [Twitter]
  • @BPierce_30: Late birthday gift and I love it painting is #dope! What do you think? [Instagram]
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