Editor’s note: This is part of a series on Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson that focuses on the phenomenon and uniqueness of the 2019 NFL MVP in the final guaranteed year of his rookie contract. Part 1 (Jackson as seen by teammates and opponents). Part 2 (Jackson through the eyes and words of the fans). Part 3 (Quarterback-turned-defensive coordinator Vance Joseph on the shift in quarterbacking in the last 30 years).
BALTIMORE — Regardless of how the rest of the Ravens’ season unfolds, this much is clear: the franchise and its star quarterback, Lamar Jackson, have arrived at a critical crossroads in their relationship. The question is coming down to this: can the Ravens envision life without Lamar Jackson; can Jackson envision life without the Ravens?
Including the game in which he was injured, the Ravens have played five games without Jackson, winning three and losing two. That’s enough of a sample size to show the Ravens what life might look like without Jackson, who turns 26 on Jan. 7. Since Jackson was injured against Denver, the Ravens’ offense has scored 59 points, for an average of 11.8 points per game. They were averaging 25 points per game before the injury.
And it’s not clear whether Jackson will play in the season finale in Cincinnati.
Even in the cold business of NFL football, some players are harder to replace than others. This is true of the Ravens with Jackson: especially at a time when four AFC rivals have found potential generational quarterbacks: Cincinnati with Joe Burrow, Buffalo with Josh Allen, Jacksonville with Trevor Lawrence and the Los Angeles Chargers with Justin Herbert. On Sunday, the Ravens were beaten by their archrival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, when the Steelers’ rookie quarterback, Kenny Pickett, drove 80 yards and threw a game-winning touchdown. Pickett is 24 years old.
Even though Jackson has been sidelined since Dec. 4, his presence hovers over the organization like the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe, the Baltimore-born poet who is the Ravens’ patron saint. In some ways, Jackson’s contract saga, indeed, his NFL career, has become a drama that Poe could have imagined.
A young African American whose father died when he was young, raised by his mother who eventually became his agent. He goes to college, wins the Heisman Trophy as a quarterback, bursts onto the NFL scene when the incumbent Ravens quarterback is injured. He then becomes the league’s Most Valuable Player in his first year as a starter and shatters, perhaps forever, the resistance by NFL gatekeepers to young uber athletic quarterbacks who play outside “the pocket.” He ushers in an era of mold-breaking quarterbacks: Justin Fields, Jalen Hurts, Kyler Murray — who have been the beneficiaries of Jackson’s success.
Will Jackson become a victim of his own success?
In 2019, Jackson set a high bar when he became the league MVP. A year later, the Ravens finished 11-5-0, good for second place in the AFC North. Jackson won his first playoff game when the Ravens defeated the Tennessee Titans. They lost to Buffalo a week later.
The 2021 NFL season wasn’t great for Jackson or the Baltimore Ravens. Jackson started just 12 games in 2021 and missed the last four games of the season due to an ankle injury. He threw 13 interceptions, a career high, and only 16 touchdowns, his lowest total since his rookie season. The Ravens finished in last place in the AFC North with an 8-9 record and missed the playoffs. Now he’s hurt again.
This season, the Ravens were 8-4 when Jackson was injured, but even before the injury the Ravens’ season was marked by a series of blown leads — against Miami, against Buffalo, against the Giants, and against the Jaguars. Last week, the Ravens earned a playoff berth without Jackson even being in the lineup.
So how will this drama end?
The Baltimore Sun recently reported that the Ravens and Jackson will resume negotiations when the season ends. Jackson and his team are gambling that the Ravens’ season will end next month at the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. It may take that kind of improbable championship run to compel the Ravens to give Jackson the fully guaranteed contract he feels he deserves. Such a run will beef up his modest playoff record which includes three appearances and one victory.
That will be a steep hill for a less-than-100% Jackson to climb. To even reach the Super Bowl Jackson — and the Ravens defense — must go through a veritable Murderers’ Row of quarterbacks in the AFC: Buffalo’s Allen, Cincinnati’s Burrow, Jacksonville‘s Lawrence, Los Angeles’ Herbert and of course, King of The Hill, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes.
Short of achieving that? Rough and tumble negotiations. When the Browns signed Deshaun Watson, Ravens owner Steve Biscotti intimated that the signing was not a model he planned to follow, that he would not make a move that did not make good business sense. Does it make business sense to let Lamar Jackson walk? The Browns were desperate to sign a quarterback with Watson’s skill. The Ravens, so Biscotti’s thinking went, are not desperate. After all, they already had a generational quarterback in Jackson.
But the contract impasse and the back-to-back injuries raise the question: do the Ravens see Jackson as a generational quarterback, or simply as a quarterback who can only function in the system they created for him?
But do you want to let him go and begin all over?
Thus far, the negotiations between Jackson and the Ravens have avoided the sort of acrimony that has become commonplace in the sports arena. Jackson is apparently well liked within the Ravens organization and the word within Jackson’s tight circle is that the superstar quarterback respects the Ravens and would like to stay. Both sides have agreed to wait until the season ends to resume contract negotiations, one can only wonder who will have the leverage when talks resume.
Much of that will depend on how the season ends. Will it end with an unexpected championship run with Jackson hoisting the Lombardi Trophy? Will it end in a deep playoff run with Jackson on the field? Will it end with an early exit?
Jackson remains popular among the Ravens fans, but how long will the good will last if the player who wants a record-breaking contract keeps missing championship moments?
Jackson and the Ravens have arrived at a crossroads in their relationship. Which of them can envision life without the other?
By: William C. Rhoden
Title: Lamar Jackson, the Ravens and the arrival at a crossroads His injury absence and lack of a new contract have hovered over the organization, but does the team see him as a generational QB?
Sourced From: andscape.com/features/lamar-jackson-the-ravens-and-the-arrival-at-a-crossroads/
Published Date: Thu, 05 Jan 2023 16:16:56 +0000
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Above & Beyond’s Blazing ‘Tranquility Base Vol. 1’ EP
Five instrumental singles, all arranged by your favourite Trance trio, and all out now.
Happy release day everyone! Happy release Above & Beyond, too. At last, their highly anticipated Tranquility Base Vol. 1 EP has seen the light of day, which means we get to enjoy their five new tracks, in full, and on all platforms. No more ABGT500 ID ripping, yo.
The first product of their extra time in the studio, Tranquility Base Vol. 1 comes as a collection of heavy-hitting club records, all calling back to their instrumental roots. These tracks have been played around the world ever since their Los Angeles Group Therapy milestone show, and, until yesterday, two singles had seen the light of day: ‘Angry JP8‘, and ‘500‘. The other three have just seen their official release today.
Tranquility Base Vol. 1
The name of the EP series references A&B’s beloved Tranquility Base alias, a staple of the noughties Trance sound, with tracks like ‘Oceanic‘, ‘Razorfish‘, and more. The collection released today features an entire range of techniques and feelings portrayed, from absolutely moving melodies, to uplifting progressions, to dark Techno vibes.
Above & Beyond – Tranquility Base Vol. 1 Tracklist
- Angry JP8
- Spin Off
A very interesting track, ‘Angry JP8’ sends you on a journey towards darkness, to ultimately find Above & Beyond’s unmistakeable recent sound with tons of fast saws signaling dynamism on the drops, and the same saws being used differently to add a whole mysterious atmosphere during the break. Part of the singles lifted earlily from the EP, you can read our article about this track right here.
A warm aura of piano, historic Trance pads, and even a little reference to the 90s House scene in the form of a square pluck arpeggio, all of this will surround you and slowly ascend you towards the drop, a very melodic one for sure. The drop, by the way, features the same arpeggio from the break, but much more open. ‘Wasp’ truly is a vibe.
Also released ahead of time, this track was named after the trio’s milestone ABGT500 show. A piano line once again drives you from the crowded drop to the calmer break, just before an arpeggio decides to move the whole song forward — and your arms to the sky. Don’t believe me? Give it a listen. Oh, and do read our article on the track, by clicking here.
Arguably the darkest of the bunch — and labeled as ‘Techno‘ by Beatport —, ‘VLEKNO’ distances itself from the others straight away with its playful kick-bass combo. It certainly nods to Trance, though, as you’ll hear an appearance of the era-defining voice pluck made famous by Binary Finary in ‘1998‘. Like his brother coming first on this EP, the break is very mystery-inducing, but you can’t really worry too much about it, since the drop makes you forget it all and dance your analysis away.
Closing Above & Beyond’s Tranquility Base Vol. 1 EP, this track seems much happier and jumpier than others present in the collection. Fake trumpet leads will welcome you to quite the Trancy break, I’d say the most intense one of the bunch in terms of how deep it goes into the roots of the genre. Then, the drop is, as A&B know, a blend of melody, arpeggios, a driving bassline in the background, and a Progressive Trance percussion selection.
Enough said, probably! I can’t describe these tracks more than you can feel and hear if you give the EP a listen. Click below to stream Above & Beyond’s Tranquility Base Vol. 1 EP on Spotify, or rather, click here to be redirected to the Continuous Mix over at YouTube. Lastly, click here to support the EP in any way you like.
The post Above & Beyond’s Blazing ‘Tranquility Base Vol. 1’ EP appeared first on EDMTunes.
By: Felipe Latorre Cabello
Title: Above & Beyond’s Blazing ‘Tranquility Base Vol. 1’ EP
Sourced From: www.edmtunes.com/2023/05/above-beyonds-blazing-tranquility-base-vol-1-ep/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=above-beyonds-blazing-tranquility-base-vol-1-ep
Published Date: Thu, 25 May 2023 14:53:21 +0000
Giddy up: Colt Wrangler’s prizewinning Harley Sportster
With a name like Colt Wrangler, it’s safe to assume that the man is from Texas and probably a bit of a cowboy. Hot dang if you aren’t right on both counts—Colt has been riding broncos and bulls competitively since he was a kid. But what you’re less likely to guess, is that this young cowpoke is also one of the most impressive motorcycle builders to emerge from the US custom scene in recent years.
Since Colt Wrangler Motorcycles was founded in 2015, Colt has established a distinct design language of his own. Recognizable by their high-level sheet-metal work, his builds exist in perfect proportion and hold high-performance details for those that know what they’re looking at—or even better, for those lucky enough to ride them.
We have featured Cole’s bikes before. But with more time to work on his latest project—a 1999 Harley-Davidson Sportster—he’s taken his personal style to new heights.
Colt had just started the Harley Sportster project, working in collaboration with local Texas truck builders Vintage Vendetta Garage, when Roland Sands Design announced the Dream Build-Off. This was a competition for local shops and backyard builders, with new motorcycles from BMW, Indian, and Royal Enfield as prizes. The Sportster was originally supposed to be a street-ready scrambler, but with this added motivation, Colt went
By: Morgan Gales
Title: Giddy up: Colt Wrangler’s prizewinning Harley Sportster
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-harley-sportster-colt-wrangler
Published Date: Fri, 19 May 2023 17:01:46 +0000
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